‚Äč The way Forwards – scienceroom.org

The way Forwards

The way forward for medical science

With the onus being placed on a future without animal research, there is much emphasis placed on the ability to ensure medical science continues to move forward. This is helped by the fact that advanced technology is becoming more versatile and accessible to medical professionals to enhance our everyday lives and strive for medical perfection.

The monitoring of incurable diseases provides early warning of a medical emergency which is crucial. In the past, this has been undertaken by x-ray, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging but soon sensors will be available to provide monitoring by remote electronic early warning to avert any medical crisis.

Another area which could be invaluable is electronic health records which have the potential to be used as a research programme for the development of drugs and the monitoring of whether a treatment is successful or not. At the same time this data could also provide statistics about the disease or illness providing a greater insight. Furthermore, if DNA sequencing was also recorded, this could provide valuable information on what drugs reacted unfavourably on the different genotypes by way of indicating the symptoms experienced. This could eliminate certain drugs for specific genotypes and enable a more effective drug to be prescribed for a particular disease.

The benefits of this information would be second to none for future employers and, of course, insurance companies who could enforce a discrimination policy based upon the genetic and medical profiles provided creating a unique database. However, since patient privacy requires optimum security there is the likelihood that this degree of information might not be available for a considerable time, if ever.

Screening could be taken one step further with genetic testing providing essential data to enable patients to avoid or incorporate a certain activity or diet to improve longevity and quality of life. But this would depend upon their desire to be supervised which could be seen to constitute the freedom of their health in a similar way to that of enforcing the cessation of smoking.

There is no doubt that genetic analysis could assist in developing drugs further by differentiating between the patients who benefit most to ones who experience rare symptoms. This information could be used more specifically and with a greater ratio of success.

However, genetics is an extremely complex matter especially if it involved detecting genes for specific diseases as many conditions have interactive elements which cause diversity within each disease. This has been the case in genetic factors in cancer which indicates that personalized treatment based on genetic analysis is not clearly defined and could lead to failure.

All in all, the future of medicine and what it incorporates is an immense area which provides great scope and advancement with the aid of technology and scientific testing, without the requirement of animal experimentation.

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