Pharmacogenomics is a relatively new field that combines pharmacology and genomics to determine the drugs and doses that would work best for each individual. When genetic information is available, family physician Dr. Rose Kenny determines the best course of treatment for her patients through pharmacogenomics.
What does Pharmacogenomics Mean For Patients?
Drugs have traditionally been developed with the understanding that they have the same effect on each individual. But the study of the structure of DNA, or genomics, has paved the path for a more personalized approach to drug development and use. Genetic makeup determines how well a drug will work for each individual, as some drugs may be effective for one person, while not offering great results for another. With pharmacogenomics, doctors can use the genetic makeup of a patient to determine the drugs most likely to work best, eliminating the prescribing of unnecessary drugs.
How Prevalent is Pharmacogenomic Testing?
Routine pharmacogenomic testing is currently only used for several health problems. But the field is on the rise and will most likely lead to more individualized treatment options and better drug management in cancer, asthma, heart disease, depression and other more commonplace disorders.
Dr. Rose Kenny practices Family Medicine in Redmond, Oregon the Family Care Clinic, which she has owned and operated since 2002. At her practice, Dr. Kenny aims to combine clinical practices along with informatics to provide the best course of treatment for each patient. She is working towards her Masters in Biomedical Informatics at Oregon Health and Science University.
Dr. Rose Kenny is a physician who practices family medicine in Redmond, Oregon, where she has owned and operated the Family Care Center since the summer of 2002. She relocated to Oregon from her native Vermont in 2001.
She says that her mission as a doctor is to combine clinical practice with Informatics, a term that broadly describes the processing, storage and retrieval of data. In medicine, Informatics is a merger of medical and computer science, with the aim of improving healthcare and patient outcomes. Informatics professionals, say the experts, put technology to its best use in patient care, and in clinical and research settings.
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There are specialties within the field of Informatics, such as bioinformatics, public health informatics, organizational informatics, and social informatics. Informatics professionals are engaged in the following tasks:
- improving the way that medical facilities and practices keep electronic health care records
- improving communications between healthcare providers and facilities, so there are better patient outcomes
- storing, managing and analyzing medical data
- assisting in technology-driven research
Dr. Rose Kenny is the Clinical Informatician at the Family Care Center. She studied Clinical Informatics at the Kansas University Medical Center in 2015, and at the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics the same year. She is currently working toward a Masters in Biomedical Informatics in an online Masters course she began in January of 2016. She received her medical degree in 1995 from the Tufts University School of Medicine, and studied neurophysiology at the University of Freidburg in Germany.