Dr. Maulik Purohit: How medicine can tailor treatment to a patient's genetic code

Dr. Maulik Purohit is associate chief medical information officer at Cleveland-based University Hospitals, where he assesses technology's influence on the medical field. He leverages artificial intelligence to achieve organizational goals such as better patient care, patient safety and quality.

In this episode for "Becker's Healthcare Podcast," Dr. Purohit explains the advantages of precision medicine and AI along with how they can advance treatments. Below is an excerpt from the conversation, and the full episode can be heard here.


Note: The response is lightly edited for clarity.

Question: In oncology, there's more and more movement towards precision medicine and AI. Where are the areas that you see this making the quickest jumps?

Dr. Maulik Purohit: I'll talk about a couple things we've done in this area. One is looking at treatments for depression using precision medicine.

One of the front-line, initial therapies for treatment for depression is a class of medication called SSRI, or selective serotonin. However, every person will react a little bit differently to each medication, whether they metabolize it differently, whether they have a longer or shorter half life in the system, whether the drug has a 10 percent effect, 50 percent effect, whatever it may be. 

Precision medicine for everyone's genetic code, this is an area that we can certainly have a better educated analysis of what that would be.

Let's say we would normally start with Medication A, but then we see the genetic code and we match it to their profile and it looks like they may actually best respond to Medication C. Then if that doesn't work, then Medication B, but it gives you a much better way of matching the treatment to the patient.

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