empowering individuals to practice prevention


I have been told that it is with almost certainty that we will develop a chronic disease; heart, cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s etc. in our life time. That does not sound like good odds to me and we still have to add all those spells, usually in winter months, of colds and flu viruses that strike some of us down.

This summer I listened to one of the founding fathers of the biotechnology and a highly successful entrepreneur give the closing speech at a health-care conference. After sharing the thrills and spills of life as a biotech entrepreneur he used the second half of his speech to set out a vision for the future of the industry. One big theme, Personalization, and of Prevention and Medicine the slide simply stated. While the word prevention was displayed in front of the word medicine all of the remainder of the talk focused on personalized medicine. In an open question and answer session I asked why that was the case?

The answer was that the world of science was unable to deliver the personalized information that would empower the individuals decision making. The speaker gave an examples, some individuals smoke their whole lives and never get cancer; he concluded, ‘today we do not know the reason for that’.

What about tomorrow? Can we deliver the personalized prevention information that is required? We feel this is an attainable long term goal. But right now we can make a start by empowering individuals to capture their own lifestyle and health stories and then we can find a trusted environment where we can share the combined wisdom of our personal experiences.

If we get that data in control of the individual then we can build from there.


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