Skip to main content
Home » Personalized Medicine » When Treating Illness, One Size Doesn’t Need to Fit All

A groundbreaking study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is working to personalize medicine’s approach to treating everyday ailments. 

For the most common reasons to visit a doctor, like back pain, fatigue, and depression, the best treatment for each patient isn’t always immediately clear. 

To treat high blood pressure alone, clinicians have the choice of over 10 different types of drugs that have each been proven effective. The key is finding out which treatment offers the most benefit with the fewest side effects for an individual patient. This is where medicine usually falls short. 

“We need to disrupt the way we manage our well-being,” says Karina W. Davidson, Ph.D., M.A. Sc., professor and senior vice president of research at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health. “We plan to revolutionize healthcare through ‘Personalized Trials.’” 

What are personalized trials?

Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) common fund, Personalized Trials are building a new way for patients and their clinicians to quickly determine the treatment for their chronic symptoms or condition that works best. 

The Personalized Trial platform is designed to guide a patient through a virtual scientific study of their symptoms or medical issues while safely testing proven treatment options. Text message prompts and wearable devices are used to collect data in real-time. Data are then scientifically analyzed using statistical methods. Results of the Personalized Trial are provided back to the patient so that a shared decision can be made with a clinician about their custom wellness strategy moving forward. 

Dr. Davidson credits the NIH funding for bringing this new advance of science directly to the patient encounter. “We will have a whole new understanding of the things that help people work on the health issues they find problematic in their lives.”

Helping patients with chronic low back pain

Initial results support the idea that each patient will respond differently to the same treatment.  “No two single experiences have been alike, and that is exactly the point. We are building the tools needed to change the delivery of healthcare to meet our patient’s unique needs.”

For more information about Personalized Trials, please email [email protected].

Next article