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HealthWISE - creating new markets by scanning for presymptomatic diseases

Posted Nov 18 2008 12:16am

HealthWISE - creating new markets by scanning for presymptomatic diseases: "HealthWISE is more than just a screening facility. It is a doctor-referred wellness diagnostic center specializing in the detection of common, 'pre-symptomatic' diseases—cardiovascular and vascular disease, lung and colon cancers and osteoporosis. These diseases share numerous characteristics. They all have the potential to be treatable or preventable if diagnosed early and they share many risk factors, including diet, inactivity, smoking and family history, among others. Following diagnostic testing, a specific individualized wellness strategy (the HealthPATH) is provided to each patient and his or her doctor. What is the difference between screening and "pre-symptomatic" disease?
Screening is a generic term that has both good and bad implications. For instance, should all individuals be "screened" by age 30 for cholesterol? The answer is YES. However, should all individuals with high cholesterol before age 30 be given life-long drugs to lower cholesterol? The answer is NO. Individuals being evaluated for "pre-symptomatic" disease are those who, together with their doctor, determine that age, gender, medical history, environment, lifestyle, or heredity gives them a "better-than-even chance" for premature but preventable disease—such as heart/vascular disease, lung/colon cancer, and osteoporosis. Using the knowledge of the presence or absence of early disease, specific recommendations can be made to help maintain personal health and wellness."

This is a clever approach to increasing the market for the new scanners. All of us are "presymptomatic" patients after all ! The key question, which has never been answered as yet, is whether picking up these diseases early affects their natural history. It's tempting ( and logical ) to assume that the sooner we diagnose a disease the more effective our treatment will be, but no one knows if this is true or not !

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