Listen to LeadHealth Chief Strategy Officer, Tom, talk about the importance of Root Cause analysis.
Root-cause vs. Symptom-suppression Medicine
We have entered a new era of precision medicine that has extraordinary potential to lower costs and restore health, yet employers and health plans are unable to access it. Employers and their health strategies are stuck in age of diagnosis-based health interventions calibrated to population averages. The first step toward true, “n of 1,” precision health has already happened, and it has provided us the ability to target health interventions on the basis of root causes rather than diagnoses.
Consider the difference. Until recently, three patients with recurring and debilitating headaches are each diagnosed as suffering from migraines. The diagnosis is defined from a constellation of symptoms. And the resolution of the diagnosis is achieved through the ongoing suppression of those symptoms that comprise the migraine diagnosis. Each is prescribed, and left indefinitely dependent on one of a family of medications intended to mitigate their headaches.
Today, given access to the right expertise and technology, these patients can look past their diagnosis to investigate its underlying causes. One discovers that he is part of a cluster of people whose migraines primarily arise from glucose toxicity. One learns that she is part of a cluster of people whose migraines primarily arise from reproductive hormone imbalance. And the third patient finds she is part of a cluster effected primarily by sinus issues.
Cluster-level personalization – grouping people on the basis of underlying causes of conditions, enables LeadHealth to design virtual episodes of care that resolve symptoms and risks by way of their causes rather than the never-ending, costly battle to suppress their effects.
The economic implications are staggering. Contrary to the popular refrain, the number one cost driver in healthcare is not chronic disease – it is symptom suppression medicine.
I feel human again.