Personalized Health is a growing field not only in developed countries like the United States of America, but also developing countries. Generally, personalized health is considered an area of great technological advance. The purpose of the unit is to have students think about the availability of personalized health in industrial versus developing countries. The question remains, how do we increase access to the growing field and type of personalized health care that is available? In a Ted-Ed video, Steve Johnson talks about how technology that works in the United States may not be feasible in a third world country. The basis of the premise resides in the fact that engineering usable technology must take into consideration the end-user. I will prepare my students to complete an assessment of personalized health focused needs and provide students the materials needed to navigate development of their engineering and innovation.
The process of diagnosis and the development of preventative medicine, vaccines or treatments available for all industrialized and developing countries is the overlying premise for the Personalized Health Unit. The students will generally focus on the problems of malaria, HIV and tuberculosis. According to a 2016 study by the World Health Organization, malaria, HIV and tuberculosis are in the top 10 causes of death among low-income countries (who.int) but not even listed among the top 10 causes of death among upper-middle and high-income countries. It is obvious that the technology is available to prevent these diseases, but it is not accessible to low-income populations. The application of personalized health to preventative medicine is the main goal. Once the idea for the solution is created, the students will need to use biomimicry to guide the solution. Biomimicry is utilizing the natural worlds solutions to problems and applying them to personalized health issues. Overall, the unit will encompass the various ways biotechnology, engineering and biomimicry can be used to not only prevent and diagnose health problems, but also to cure the multiple epidemics facing the world population.
Futuristically, Personalized Health has the potential to develop into an effective tool for patient focused preventive medicine. With easily accessible DNA testing and developing technologies in prevention, researchers suggest that personalized preventative therapeutics may be implemented as early as 2050. Personalized preventative medicine could prevent oncoming epidemics and primary causes of death with accessible solutions.
Personalized Health is a comprehensive and individualized approach to preventing, diagnosis and treating disease. The biotechnological advances increase the successful implementation of personalized healthcare but the access and availability continues to be limited. The unit will be comprised of components of personalized healthcare examples that are currently being utilized and how to design innovations to create more access to the technologies. Developing accessible personalized healthcare to low-income populations will be one of the parameters for the students in my Health Science class.