Futurism Part V: The Promise of P3 Medicine and Biohacking to Enhance Longevity
by Ralph Broadwater, MD, CFP®, AIF®
Radical changes are slowly occurring in both the science of medicine and health care delivery. Last quarter I wrote about the paradigm shift in health care delivery away from managing chronic and end-of-life diseases to identifying specific patient risks, disease prevention, and tailored treatments for disease. These changes are a profound paradigm shift from talking about chronological age (how many times you have circled the sun) to physiological age (how old are your cellular processes, and what treatments can be designed to improve these cellular organ functions and your physiological age?).
I would like to spend a little time talking about the change in medical care delivery with P3 medicine, a shift from reactionary treatment to P3: precision, personalization, and prevention, and the increasing role of personal responsibility and monitoring personal health and metrics to improve health, longevity, and quality of life.
I believe the beginning of P3 medicine began with the publication of the book Aerobics by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper in 1968. In this book, Dr. Cooper argued that the benefits of exercise were significant, and could enhance health and lifespan. He started a wellness center in Dallas to measure fitness and health, which soon expanded to a preventive medicine clinic and a fitness center. This was the start of individuals taking an active role in improving their health and fitness.
Next came the rise of the Corporate Executive Physical by many institutions and physicians. Proactive assessment such as treadmill stress testing, routine screening endoscopy was followed by screening Radiology, lab and physiologic testing.
A few years ago, some Internists and Primary Care physicians developed a practice model where affluent individuals can have much more personalized (frequently 24/7) physician care. Concierge Medicine is continuing to expand as demand increases, and the current health care system becomes less responsive to individual needs and requests.
Cenegenics is a privately held company that has been successful entering the Concierge medicine space focusing on wellness and improving health and longevity. (www.cenegenics.com)
One of the most important advances in medicine was the DNA sequencing of the entire human genome in 2003 by the Human Genome Project. This project cost $2.7 billion, but scientific advances have now driven down the cost of sequencing your entire genome to under $1000. Several companies are offering this as part of their personalized care offerings.
Health Nucleus (www.healthnucleus.com) is a company that offers whole genomic sequencing paired with Whole Body MRI, Coronary Calcium Scoring, Body Composition, Core Labs, and Cardiac MRI as their personalized health assessment. They use machine learning and AI-integrated diagnostics to help interpret all testing data. This comprehensive exam is designed to focus on the four primary disease areas that affect longevity: cancer, cardiac disease, metabolic disease, and neurodegenerative disease.
On the consumer side, the development of health care wearables and health care apps has allowed the individual to take a much more active role in improving their health. By measuring trends in important health variables, you can now monitor your health and fitness better, to improve your life and longevity.
I have listed some of these here:
Withings digital scale and blood pressure monitor
My FitnessPal app
Waking Up app
All of the major tech companies have entered the health care space and are working on devices and other programs to help improve health. Google, Amazon, and Apple have significant research programs and budgets for improving both personal heath and health car delivery.
These are exciting times for everyone to take an active role in their health to improve their quality of life and longevity.
If you have further interest in the field of longevity, I encourage you to watch this podcast by Dr. Peter Attia on YouTube: Reverse engineered approach to human longevity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDFxdkck354