A True Partner in Your HealthErik Burns
Health care has long been focused on how to get patients more engaged in their care. Over the last 20 years, researchers have looked for ways to get people to participate actively in decisions regarding their care, and DNA testing for health is one of the greatest tools for both practitioner and patient.
The goal is not to be your own doctor, but rather to be willing to share in the decision-making process.
We know that the patient-physician relationship has taken some hard hits. Providers are squeezed for time, and people’s health is too complex for a 20-minute visit. When you are sick, you want to fix it immediately. People look to their provider for the solution. The problem with this approach is that there is usually more than one way to fix it.
Providers have traditionally taken the responsibility for coming up with the plan. Patients get their prescribed plan and they do “what the doctor ordered.” Shared decisions are rare in the clinic setting and even rarer in the hospital. So how do we create an environment where the patient and the provider work together as a team?
We believe that DNA testing for your health could be the answer. When a patient takes a home DNA test, they receive a comprehensive scientific report with easy-to-read results. A patient being able to share this information with their practitioner is a direct path to shared decision-making.
Imagine scheduling an appointment with your doctor when you are not sick. Then imagine sitting down and reviewing all your DNA results; for example, what foods work best for you, what vitamins and minerals you should take, what exercise program you perform better at, and what medications are best for you. In this scenario, you lead the conversation and you are the one inviting your doctor into the discussion. Wouldn’t you feel that your doctor really “knows” you? Wouldn’t you be more inclined to engage with her/him when you are sick?
Technology is bringing high-level health information to your fingertips. It is possible to diagnose yourself. However, we argue that this approach is not in most people’s best interest. Telemedicine, email conferencing and walk-in clinics are common conveniences, but they are no substitute for a real patient/provider relationship.
re:iimmune believes that home DNA testing is a game changer. When you are supported in making and implementing choices based on your unique health traits, you become a true partner in your health.