Recently I attended and presented at healthcare expo. While I was there I attended a talk by Dr David B. Agus, a cancer physician from the US who is renowned for treating Steve Jobs and Lance Armstrong. It was a truly enlightening talk, I quickly bought both of his books and got them signed by him personally.
After reading the first book A short guide to a long life which I highly recommend, I concluded that I need to listen more to the signals my body is giving off and the patterns within my family history as well as my DNA. We are always told that prevention is better than the cure and that if we are suffering with a condition, then early diagnoses and intervention is essential to ensure effective treatment and prolonged life.
Looking at my family history there is a tendency for them to suffer with high blood pressure and diabetes, therefore I am guessing I am more likely to have the genetic blueprint for these conditions in my body awaiting the trigger to become active. I can manage that trigger. I haven’t YET had my DNA sequenced but I have seen what it looks like, it’s the floaty thing with all the bubbles attached to it.
With todays technology being so cheap, I had a look around and picked up a clinically validated Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor by Omron for £14.99 a truly amazing price. I will now check my blood pressure every Monday morning as I wake up and track the results for the rest of my life. I am probably going to spend the next 14 days doing it daily to understand any kind of daily fluctuations and patterns that are relative to my exercise and diet routine but I am guessing once a week will be enough. I will also check it periodically at times of high stress, low sleep or illness to try and identify patterns.
The device is simple to use, it takes less that a few minutes to record the results in a spreadsheet and pop it back in it’s package. My hypothesis is that “information gathered from the signals my body produces will lead to better personal healthcare” , we hear it all the time, I am not sure how many people we have quantified this with as a health service but I do know the next time a clinician takes my blood pressure, they will know my historic pressure on a weekly basis that may inform their thinking and decisions. I also know any treatments I could receive in future will be personally measured against my blood pressure and fed back to my clinician.
I consider myself as the main driving force behind my healthcare using the NHS and their clinical knowledge and the support they provide to help me. I do not expect the NHS to manage me and my healthcare needs or understand the characteristics of my body, it simply cannot afford it. The body is constantly providing data we can tune into if we chose and I chose to, I will also be one of the first people to upload my data to my patient records when they become writable in 2018, if we want personal healthcare we must play a major leading part.