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What’s Needed To Advance Precision Medicine In Healthcare?

By Kayla Matthews, freelance journalist, Productivity Bytes.

Precision medicine involves formulating treatments for individualized patients, typically with genetic sequencing that could shed light on the underlying causes of disease. It’s an amazing idea that could substantially reduce the likelihood of the same treatment curing one person and failing to help another.

However, some things still hold precision medicine back. Here are six ways it could advance.

1. Lower Research and Development Costs

Statistics indicate precision medicine is gaining momentum. For example, 70% of cancer drugs in development are precision-based, and 20% of research and development in the pharmaceutical sector relates to precision medicine.

Those are promising signs, but cost remains a significant factor that slows down the advancement of precision medicine. The research and development associated with it is more expensive than standard approaches because it involves genetic testing. Companion testing is often required to find biomarkers, as well as marker-negative patients.

Securing financial backing can be tricky, especially if investors or the financial decision-makers at pharmaceutical companies are still dubious about precision medicine’s potential.

2. More Patient Education

Many patients have heard about precision medicine in passing, but they don’t know what it entails or how to avail of it. Intermountain Healthcare, a Utah-based health system with nearly two dozen locations, found that a lack of patient education restricted its adoption of precision medicine. The organization began automatically referring metastatic cancer patients to a research clinic that used precision medicine.

There, patients had access to a proprietary system that checked for more than 160 genetic mutations associated with cancer by examining portions of a person’s genetic code. Then, people from a molecular tumor board interpreted the results, guiding doctors in setting up treatment plans for their patients.

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5 Ways Health Professionals Can Save Money on MedTech

By Kayla Matthews, freelance journalist, Productivity Bytes.

The U.S. medtech industry is one of the most profitable in the world. In 2016, the sector was worth $147.7 billion and expected to top $173 billion by the end of 2019. One of the reasons that it is so profitable is that new medical technology can be exorbitantly expensive, especially for small practices or solitary practitioners. How can you save money while still procuring the medtech you need to provide the best care possible for your patients?

1. Opt For Refurbished MedTech

If you needed a new car, would you immediately choose a brand new model — complete with a costly car loan — or would you consider purchasing a used but still functional vehicle instead? If you compare purchasing a new piece of medtech to obtaining a new car, the idea of purchasing refurbished equipment starts to make sense.

Purchasing refurbished equipment gives you access to the same sort of medtech that you’d receive if you’d bought it new, for a fraction of the cost. You may also be able to choose the level of refurbishment — choosing between a machine that’s only been cosmetically refurbished rather than one that’s been reworked on a mechanical level, or vise versa.

There are a couple of downsides to purchasing refurbished medtech, such as the lack of a warranty and the possibility of bringing a “lemon” back to the office, but if money is your primary concern, this can be a great way to save quite a bit while still stocking your office with all the necessary equipment.

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