P4 Medicine

I maintain a biotech/health blog called P4 Medicine. The name comes from Lee Hood's concept of a new medical practice that is "Predictive, Preventive, Personalized, and Participatory." (Other people use different combinations of words beginning with P to get across the same idea.)

But, there is a new P4 appearing in the Google rankings, and it's strong medicine: the Cervelo P4 bicycle. It's very nice.

Now, I'm not a time trialist, so there's no chance I'd actually buy this bike. But it's a very pretty bike all the same. If I saw one in person, I would stare at it. For a good long while.

This brings up a point that has been bothering me for some time: how strong a concept is P4 Medicine anyway? Really, it's not a coherent concept so much as a laundry list of objectives (or adjectives). We have a bike, a revision control system, and a medical revolution all competing for the top of the same Google search. That's less than ideal.

But what are the alternatives? Prospective Medicine is a different, narrower idea. Likewise, Personalized Medicine seems to me inadequately ambitious. PM is personalized medicine as opposed to what? Impersonal medicine? Bulk medicine? Medicine is already personalized. Yes, I know, PM is about medicine that is more personalized in very specific ways, but again that's really beside the point. I don't want my medical care to be more personalized, I want it to help me feel better and live longer, for the same or less money. "Personalized" isn't a value proposition, and it isn't a recipe for how to achieve value any more than four copies of the letter P.

Hmm, maybe I just need to go on a bike ride....


Burrill Personalized Medicine Meeting 2008

Just got back from the Fourth Burrill Personalized Medicine Meeting. I blogged it on my biotech/health blog here.

The conference wasn't exactly upbeat. But given the economic turmoil, it was certainly optimistic. People see a bright future for Personalized Medicine and diagnostics, which is good news both for America's health and for my day job, so I shouldn't complain.