Alexander TsiarasHealth Blog - Wellness

Diagnostics Made Understandable

Published on 2011-01-14 by Alexander Tsiaras

Recently we were to produce a story originally titled "The Future of Diagnostics From the Molecular to the Larger Anatomies".  For this video story, which was to be presented at the TEDMED Conference, we were to scan it's founder and host Richard Saul Wurman and it's President, Marc Hodosh. Working with GE Healthcare R&D we did full body scans of both men and then, in collaboration with Quest Diagnostics we put their blood through a battery of tests, to review their life blood at both the molecular and cellular levels. In the end, and with the aid of numerous physicians and specialist we revealed a pretty interesting picture of their health. All in all … the temporal snapshot of their health was pretty positive. 

What became evident as we went through the process of acquiring this data was how far technologies have come in giving detailed insight into our well-being. This trend of better technologies at every level from new scanning techniques, to finely tuned esoteric and genetic tests, to faster computers and analysis of the data is moving forward rapidly, but what became more relevant during these tests and interpretations was the question: how do we apply and deliver this data?! We had to stop and ask ourselves how do we bring all this data under one digital roof, make it accessible to patient and doctor, and interpret it clearly so it’s understood by both parties? In follow-up to the consolidation and interpretation, how can we, in a facile manner enable the data to next be used in treatment planning that would allow a single physician to quarterback treatment options with clarity to fellow healthcare providers and share it with patients with equal clarity. Quest Diagnostics is making some serious inroads into trying to make their lab test results more understandable and accessible to their clients.  This is all moving in the right direction, but we collectively need to do more with all of our testing to compile the data we gather of ourselves into a story of our personal health making it understandable and useful in the mapping our way back to health. There needs to be a program that tells the story of our health compiled from the multiple diagnostic sources, not told in jargon and hieroglyph, which is the norm today but in compelling story line that empowers us to understand the story of health. One that can be managed by one healthcare provider and one that can be easily understood by us! 

In the future I will continue to write about the need to convert what is presently complicated health content, policies, and procedures into consolidated, compelling and understandable information that will allow both the healthcare providers and patients to successfully plan pathways to health!

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