Healthcare Technology Featured Article

March 15, 2019

How DNA is the Future of Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the fastest changing industries on the globe. As the general population begins to increase in age, people need customized healthcare and treatment that is tailored to their particular needs. In the past, doctors would analyze each individual on a one-on-one basis and match their symptoms to common issues based on their training and experience. Moving into the 21st century, we're beginning to notice that scientists are taking a look at each individual's DNA markers to understand their health from a genetic level. Located below is a brief glimpse into the ever-evolving world of DNA and how it may impact your future.

An Insight Into DNA

Simply put, DNA testing acts as a telescope that peers into the genetic makeup of an individual and gives us the unique opportunity to make adjustments according to their biological makeup. As explained in detail on the YourDNA blog, several services currently offer home testing kits for consumers to purchase and send off to a lab. Within a few weeks time, the individual is provided with their own DNA profile.

While many facilities tackle a patient's symptoms and ailments as they arise, diving into a personal genome allows healthcare professionals and scientists to unravel the entire story of that person's life, and in a general sense, their potential future. To illustrate how this works, it's important to understand the role DNA plays in each individual's life. In a general sense, DNA acts as the road map for our genetic potential and shows us areas where we may thrive, but also where we may falter. Unraveling the DNA structures of a person can give warning signs of lethal diseases that may arise like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and much more. When we can understand these warning signs before they've begun to wreak havoc on the patient's lifestyle, we can thwart off life-threatening situations moving into the future.

Once a patient has been shown to have a predisposition to a certain disease, healthcare professionals can begin a process called Immunotherapy. In a broad sense, Immunotherapy is a process by which the immune system is strengthened through stimulation to fight back against potentially lethal problems. The science has become so cutting edge that certain processes, such as cancer immunotherapy, have become commonplace.

Even more shocking is how decoding one's personal genome may play a part in understanding where deadly diseases have their origins. In a talk given by George Weinstock -- a professor at Washington University and an expert on genetics and microbiology -- he exclaims that premature babies with certain ailments may have their DNA examined for pertinent information. In Weinstock's opinion, when we can properly identify the location or root cause of a disease, we can better treat patients and help eradicate the potential for infection.

Genetics and You

Although genetics control almost every facet of our life from our skin color, hair texture, face shape and the way we laugh, it does not have to control our fate. Science is now showing us that understanding the genetic components of each individual gives us a beautiful backdrop in which to operate. Perhaps in a distant future, fatal diseases and genetic mutations will no longer plague our society. Although we're still in the infant stages of this technology, it shows a promising future and gives us hope that we can control our collective destinies as an entire population.

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