American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
How Will Molecular Diagnostics Change the Practice of Medicine?: January 2008 Expert Access Presentation

Richard C. Friedberg, MD, PhD, FCAP
Chairman, Department of Pathology
Baystate Health
Springfield, Massachusetts
"How Will Molecular Diagnostics Change the Practice of Medicine?"

Due to increasing demands for improve quality and efficiency in health care, molecular medicine – the combination of in vivo and in vitro diagnostics with informatics – is expected to play an increasing role in care delivery by identifying and treating the molecular causes of disease, long before symptoms appear. This patient-specific care paradigm is intended to deliver more personalized care earlier in the disease process in order to pre-empt complications, avoidable complications, and cost. Advances in molecular medicine can significantly impact or even drive the medication or treatment choices for specific patient groups, with improved results. The future holds even more promise for these areas, as the delivery of care focuses on management and prevention of disease, rather than simply treatment.
 
Enabling earlier diagnosis and more targeted therapies (e.g., closely observed by drug response monitoring), coupled with the improved management of patient information will not only help improve the quality, but also decrease the cost of care. This presentation will discuss the emergence of molecular medicine and the impact that it is having on the healthcare industry in general and pathology in particular.