The tide is turning
Medical health in 2021 and beyond – the future of healthcare for humanity
published : 24 Mar 2021 at 15:52
writer: David P Boehm
In recent decades, medical science has made tremendous progress in the treatment of the human condition, and almost every day I am reminded of the incredible expertise of so many amazing doctors, scientists, and health professionals on this planet. What makes these new treatments so compelling for medical science are practical applications of precision medicine for each individual.
One of Germany's leading practitioners, Dr. Johannes Wessolly, says: “We treat your physiology, not just your pathology……"
THE SCIENCE OF FUNCTIONAL MEDICAL INNOVATION
Dr. Johannes Wessolly has refined his approach over more than 20 years of successful medical therapies, implementing a practice known as Integrated Functional Medicine, a method of treating patients gaining broad-based acceptance globally.
Functional medicine utilises the inherent evolutionary functions of one's own body to maximum effect, often therapies bio-identical to nature, strengthening and maximising the efficacy of the human immune system to prevent disease. The practice of functional medicine equally applies to the treatment of ailments and diseases.
Functional medicine is all about science; specialised clinics globally which are licensed medical clinics. All practitioners are licensed medical doctors in the jurisdictions in which they operate. They trace their origins to Asia's traditional medical practices, such as traditional Chinese, traditional Thai and Ayurvedic medicines, some of the world's oldest "whole-body" healing systems. The evidence for efficacy is grounded in the science of German-based research specialists.
Be careful what you put in your body
Best practice follows a patient-centred approach to chronic disease management seeking to answer the question, “Why are you ill?” To personalise effective care for your individual needs, doctors listen and gather the relevant medical history to identify the broader root cause(s) of the illness, including triggers such as poor nutrition, stress, toxins, allergens, genetics, and the gut microbiome. Once doctors identify the triggers, it is possible to customise a combined medical/life plan addressing physical needs, while addressing nutrition, exercise, sleep, mental or emotional stressors, work, and community life. To quote Dr Wessolly: “The best doctor is your own body.”
The safety and efficacy of parenteral (infusions) have been tested over the past 20 years by Dr. Wessolly and associated scientists Dr. Rebekka Zirbel and Dr. Thomas Fink. In many cases, there are published scientific studies that have been prepared on the particular substances in formula.
The best approach to healthcare
This leads to a fundamental difference in principles and to how functional specialists develop treatments, treat patients, and the outcomes that we seek. Just to clarify, I am not referring to any particular medical establishment or hospital; it is based on my observations from many years of working with the "conventional" medical system. Healthcare in 2021 cannot function without the well-developed hospital system globally; and we certainly recognise the inherent benefits of certain chemical drugs as applied selectively and appropriately. We work every day with our partners at regular mainstream hospitals and clinics co-treating patients.
The last evolution in medicine and treatment occurred in the early 20th century. We believe that the time has come for the next evolution in healthcare, and we aspire to be at the forefront of this innovation. This evolution should address the following:
- Treat the whole patient vs. treat the symptom/disease – Modern medicine has developed a range of treatments arming the doctor with “treatment for symptoms”. This can result in short term solutions masking chronic illness. Functional medicine, by contrast, seeks to understand origins and patterns to address long-term illness leading to ongoing preventative regimes.
- Healthcare should aspire to personalised treatment rather than the “statistically average" patient – technology has progressed to a stage that disruption is necessary to move beyond treatment plans and dosages based on the “average” patient. We should be expecting personalised treatment and not accepting the status quo.
- Financial model of modern medicine versus 'the treatment outcome' – Modern healthcare has developed comprehensive diagnostics and treatment guidelines which often leave patients feeling over-serviced. Functional medicine seeks to establish a long-term health plan that prevents the disease from ever occurring in the first place, then treating if necessary, thus lowering the long-term cost of healthcare and empowering the patient.
- Clinical trials do not always empirically prove that harm is not introduced elsewhere in the body. The studies are often narrow and for the purpose of approvals. This can lead to a false sense of security. There are many examples of drugs that prove to be harmful on a broader basis, these studies should not be held up as a medical "gold standard”. New standards are necessary.
- History has thousands of years of evidence behind Functional Medicine treatments versus less than 100 years for Modern Pharma Medicine – The healthcare system should embrace the best of all treatments rather than holding to ideology-based positions. Ultimately the only winner should be the patient.
- Modern medicine describes ageing as an unavoidable human condition; the gradual breakdown of the body as it ages. Age-related conditions are treated after the breakdowns occur (often leaving the body compromised) with the expectation that they will reoccur. Functional medicine aims to extend the quality of life by extending the time the body functions at a high level before aging leads to the system and cellular breakdown. If a disease does occur, then functional medicine works to repair and restore the body.
Real-world registry data
I have been asked on many occasions to show "scientific proof" that functional therapies are effective in treating human conditions.
Essentially, we believe the existing system serves the pharmaceutical style of medicine where approval is based on the average patient. Functional medicine based on natural substances, treating the patient uniquely and holistically, needs emerging evidence-based standards to establish proof. Our interests are the long-term interests of the patients themselves.
We recognise the need to prepare scientific evidence for all therapies. However, we cannot achieve this with standard clinical trials designed to test one product on one symptom at one time. Functional medicine therapies almost always administer multiple products to treat the human condition at an individual level. Therefore, we are aligning our scientific studies to Real World Registry Data standards; an alternative scientific process approved by the FDA in the USA. This process is already underway analysing the thousands of clients that Dr. Wessolly himself has treated over the years, as well as clients in Asia.
Why the health system is ready for disruption
I therefore posit that healthcare transformation can only happen when current medicine standards evolve to support precision and personalisation. We should be questioning why "modern" medicine is not evolving rapidly enough. The Airbnb style of disruption is far overdue for health to address some key objectives:
- The patient's quality of life should be measured over a lifetime, not illness by illness as we do today. The expectation that I am treated not only for how I feel today, but that prevention is introduced to avoid chronic disease.
- The breadth of investigation should consider the whole patient to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment. Specialist diagnosis can lead to missing clues of ill-health elsewhere in the body.
- The treatment should analyse the genes, epigenome, cellular, gut microbiome, immune system, etc., to solve problems – not mask or artificially treat a symptom that will likely return to a steady-state once the medication is stopped.
- If I am treated for an illness, I should be returned to equal or better health, not compromised by the treatment.
- Reduce the dependence on high-cost 'invented drugs' that potentially may not be in the best long-term interests of the patient.
If we challenge society to question the principles to which we hold hospitals, rather than limiting advances through ageing regulation, we can advance healthcare outcomes. Today's system is widely recognised as broken and in need of transformation. We can be a catalyst to that change. Individualised precision medicine should be the future of healthcare for humanity.
About the author: David P Boehm, Co-Founder & CEO Miskawaan Health Group. MHG was established in 2018 with the objective of bringing to the world the medical insights of our German Co-Founder Dr. Johannes Wessolly. Miskawaan.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 02 086 8888.
Human Resources Watch Series Editor: Christopher F. Bruton, Executive Director, Dataconsult Ltd, email@example.com. Dataconsult's Thailand Regional Forum provides seminars and extensive documentation to update business on future trends in Thailand and in the Mekong Region