My father’s first heart attack was in 1985. By 1995, when I went to see him, he’d had a second heart attack and a second bypass operation.
The two bypass surgeries, which involved cracking his ribs to get to his heart, had destroyed his body. My father was so weak that he struggled to walk up stairs.
He had a strict diet, and he swallowed a load of pills after each meal. My mother showed me the emergency pill that she was supposed to make him swallow in case he had another heart attack.
The truth is, in all likelihood few of those pills did him any good. And given how the surgeries destroyed his body, I have to question how much good those were either. In the end, he only lasted another five years after his second heart attack.
At the time of that visit, I had no idea it was going to be the last time I saw my father. And not seeing him for so long before he died is a regret that I have to this day.
His death taught me a few things, such as to eat healthy and stay fit. And it also taught me to be deeply skeptical of the benefits of medicine and the health care system. It’s one reason why I avoid going to the doctor as much as I can.
However, there’s a revolution unfolding now in health care and medicine that makes me much more hopeful that, unlike my father, I’ll actually be helped by medicine if I get a heart attack or some other disease.
The Two Things That Matter for Your Health
Precision medicine is the name of this new revolution that is sweeping through health care. And I believe it’s going to cut a path through the pharma and biotech industries that is going to be similar to what Amazon did to retail and what Tesla is going to do to the automobile industry.
That’s because the era of precision medicine is better at the two things that matter for your health. And the two things that matter when you are sick are, first, that you get an accurate diagnosis so you’re going to be treated for the right thing.
Second, once you’re accurately diagnosed, you want to make sure that you’re getting the right treatment and medicine for your condition.
Right now, health care and medicine are a series of informed but fairly random guesses by your doctor.
For example, when you go to your doctor today, you tell your doctor what’s wrong. Most of the time, your doctor is going to recommend that you get tests done. Next, based on the tests and your physical symptoms, your doctor will make an educated guess as to what you have. Then your doctor is going to prescribe a pharmaceutical or biological drug for you to take.
Now, this way of doing health care and medicine is way better than what existed before in the days of bloodletting, lobotomies, hysteria cures, poultices, natural cures and whatnot.
However, we’re now in the Information Age. By using electronic health records, we can combine all the accumulated information we have about how human beings experience diseases to make more accurate diagnoses. And second, using a combination of information and gene-based matching, we can select more precisely a medicine or treatment that is going to maximize your benefits and minimize your side effects.
This new way of precision medicine has now progressed enough that I believe it’s ready to start replacing the old way of health care. That’s a major opportunity for investors who get into the right stocks early and can ride winners to thousands of percent in gains, just like early investors did with Amazon and Tesla.
Editor, Profits Unlimited