Predictive Health-care may not be a household term quiet yet, but basically this new, emerging way of delivering health-care in the US focuses on predicting health as opposed to waiting for disease to begin.
The Challenge of “Measuring Health”
Health is commonly defined as the absence of disease symptoms, and it is disease symptoms that are commercially relevant. However, physical symptoms are only the last stage in the progression of Illness, thus Preventive- or Predictive Health has to necessarily identify any degradation in Holistic Health, or what we call Vitality. Whole Health consists of 6 interweaving elements: Physical – Mental – Emotional – Spiritual – Social – Intellectual Health. As Physical Illness is usually the final manifestation of an Emotional Trauma, treating the Physical Symptom is only a temporary fix. In the attempt to forestall Physical Illness we need to identify the potential cause for the loss of Vitality and Lifestyle is the usual culprit. By Lifestyle we mean the person’s intentional choices such as Nutrition and Activities, and circumstantial factors, such as Environmental Exposure, History, Believes, Social Integration, etc.
Conventional Health-care is not concerned with these intertwining Mind-Body issues, because the medical science consensus neither extends to analytical methods nor the interpretation of results. The generally accepted medical standard for diagnosing disease rests on sample collection, which can be reduced to numerical values, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, body fat, bone density and various biomarkers.
In Predictive Health such samples and methods may be used, but in presumed healthy people, these “disease markers” just resemble a snap shot of a condition at the time of sample collection. If all results check out in the “Normal” range, a person is considered physically healthy, even when all 5 non-physical health elements are compromised. In such case, a physical symptom has just not yet established itself measurably.
Vitality can be defined as the sum of all 6-elements that comprise Health. A person, who has thus been classified physically healthy, may completely lack Vitality, if any of the non-physical elements is reduced; while we may perceive a person to have great Vitality, if all health elements are in harmony.
What is needed is a process that measures Vitality as the sum of all Health elements. As Vitality is a volatile condition, we cannot rely on static samples to predict a person’s susceptibility to contract any disease, nor can we recommend a Nutritional concept or Lifestyle modification based on static numericals, such as cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose and insulin. Instead, we have to dynamically monitor how well a person copes with lifestyle specific conditions that include various degrees of stress and rest, and we have to measure cellular function under changing situations. We want to assess the wear and tear that the body has undergone to date.
These Test results portray a person’s strengths and vulnerabilities incorruptibly and reproducibly. When correlated with the person’s history, lifestyle and personal objectives, a Lifestyle optimization program can be generated that does not rely on prescription drugs.