How far should the integration of medical disciplines go? While there is a growing view that radiology would benefit from closer ties to pathology and even genomics, a new unit at the Stanford School of Medicine, in the US, is taking things much further.
The Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center at Stanford, which opened last year, is looking to combine smart diagnostics systems with biosensor data to alert patients of possible problems before they happen.
The work could lead to medical data being collected from sources as diverse as nano-sensor-equipped toilets, bras that image breast tissue and a menstrual pad that can detect biomarkers of disease, Stanford Medicine says.
The idea is for this precision health data to be combined with integrated diagnostics to provide much earlier and more effective identification and treatment of medical conditions.
More widely, Stanford Medicine is also aiming to create closer ties between medical research, education and healthcare.
Stanford’s School of Medicine, Stanford Children’s Health and Stanford Health Care have created a unified plan for “tapping into opportunities to improve health care locally and around the globe,” Stanford Medicine states.
For now, it is too early to say what impact the Stanford initiatives might have on patient outcomes. But as interest in the benefits of integration continues to increase, Stanford’s pioneering approach will be watched with interest.