How to help diagnosis and treatment in psychiatry2022-05-15

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.

—Lao Tzu

It has to start with phenotype. Keeping track at home in a quantitative fashion of how you feel, think and behave for 2 weeks can gather data that can help your doctor make a diagnosis. Think of it as the equivalent of an at-home cardiac monitoring, to catch arrhythmias. Passively collected information like sleep, steps, heart rate/variability, galvanic skin response, collected with a fitness tracker, is good. Recording your feelings, thoughts and behaviors is better. We have created a place to do that in a precise, user-friendly and confidential fashion, using our Life x Mind app. After the initial 2-week monitoring, that data is used to generate a report that can be shared with your clinician/therapist. Afterwards, just use it as desired, for life improvement purposes. Patients are encouraged to get it and use it, clinicians are encouraged to recommend it and integrate it in their personalized assessment.

The next step is to get blood testing, to get an objective read-out of risk, and most importantly to match people with nutraceuticals and medications in a personalized way, based on their biology. We have created blood tests for mood, pain, stress, suicidality risk, memory, and longevity. They need to be ordered by a prescriber, and the report is provided to the clinician/prescriber, to integrate as needed in their personalized treatment approach. Afterwards, repeat the testing once a year if so desired, for preventive purposes. Longitudinal data is very powerful at predicting things.

Lastly, life sometimes hits people hard, and they have accumulated risks for suicidality. Doing a risk factor profile once a year should be part of preventive medicine approaches for all. Thus, risk factors can be identified early on and mitigated, before they cumulatively become a problem and lead to a crisis. We have developed a suicidality risk profiling tool that can be taken online, confidentially, and does not ask about current suicidal ideation. It needs to be ordered by a clinician, and the results are provided to the clinician/therapist, to counsel and work on with the patient in a personalized and targeted fashion.

The medicine of the future is prevention. These tests can save and improve lives for patients, make the practice of clinicians easier and more successful, and save money for payors (hospitalizations and repeated failed treatments are much more expensive).

Live. Happier. Longer.