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 Table of Contents  
COMMENTARY
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 93-96

Your health: Analog or digital?


Mimex Montague Healthcare Limited, Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire NG12 3TU, UK

Date of Web Publication24-Nov-2016

Correspondence Address:
Graham Ewing
Graham Ewing, Mulberry House, 6 Vine Farm Close, Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, NG12 3TU
UK
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2226-8561.194690

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How to cite this article:
Ewing G. Your health: Analog or digital?. Digit Med 2016;2:93-6

How to cite this URL:
Ewing G. Your health: Analog or digital?. Digit Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Apr 4];2:93-6. Available from: http://www.digitmedicine.com/text.asp?2016/2/3/93/194690

The demand for healthcare around the world now exceeds the ability of the contemporary biomedical paradigm to diagnose and treat many and various medical conditions, which adversely influence our health. Moreover, a critical evaluation of the current paradigm illustrates the fundamental limitations and failings of techniques which are used to diagnose and treat the health of the patient, e.g. drugs are now recognized as the third major cause of death [1] and/or the effectiveness of drugs is at a lower level than expected. [2]

Despite the immense body of knowledge regarding how drugs function, there is not yet an accepted understanding of the following:

  • The basic processes which lead to pathological onset or the fundamental components of each pathology
  • The fundamental mechanism which regulates how the body functions
  • The fundamental mechanisms by which complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) techniques can have some effect upon the health of the patient
  • The relationship between health and wellbeing
  • The significance of genotype, phenotype, the influence of the environment, stress, etc.
  • Why the effectiveness of drugs declines over a period;
  • Or
  • Why drugs are rarely more than 50% effective. [3]
In recognition of the limitations of biomedicine, neuroscientist Henry Markram [4] convinced the European Commission to invest EUR1.2BN in a complex multidisciplinary research project-the Human Brain Project, [5] - which has the objectives: (i) to determine what the brain does and how it does it, (ii) to develop a new generation of cognitively-based diagnostic technologies which are able to determine the pathological correlates of complex medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, and (iii) to understand and adapt with therapeutic effect the multilevel nature of brain function.

The challenge for the managers of his project is to integrate the research of the 14 sub projects (SP1-14) to come up with a finished solution. Almost inevitably, the project has been controversial and has encountered political managerial and technological problems. [6] The project has assumed that it can use contemporary methods of diagnosing disease and that BIG DATA will enable researchers to reveal statistical relationships which will ultimately lead to a finished solution to the key aims and objectives of this enormously complex and expensive project.

In an astonishing and unexpected twist, it has been demonstrated that the Russian researcher Dr. Grakov has developed a technology [7],[8] which meets, almost in its entirety, the key aims and objectives of the Human Brain Project. It comprises strannik virtual scanning (SVS) [9],[10],[11],[12],[13] and strannik light therapy (SLT) [13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18] and is based upon the fundamental observation that changes of brain function, in particular of sense perception, [19],[20],[21] have pathological correlates; there are fundamental processes which are regulated by the brain (which can be mathematically modeled); and knowledge of this relationship can be adapted and used as the basis of a biofeedback technology which optimizes the brain's ability to regulate the stability of the autonomic nervous system, [22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32] hence depending upon their pathological components, reducing or eliminating the onset or progression of pathologies.

The technique is based upon the observation that pathological reaction emits biophoton(s) of light influences our perception of color. [19],[20],[21] It serves as the basis of a theoretically sound scientific "digital" principle which measures the rate at which proteins are expressed and/or at which they react; by contrast with the measurement of biochemical markers; and it has been transcribed into a computer-based digital technique of immense medical, commercial, and political significance.

SVS can determine the earliest onset of pathologies from their presymptomatic onset, each pathology reported in terms of its genotype and its phenotype, and the entire range of comorbidities in each and every organ (typically 15 per organ/30 organs). Moreover, the technique is entirely noninvasive and safe, and can be conducted in 20 min to the point where results are available in report format, at a cost which is typically 5%-25% of contemporary diagnostic tests; and it is entirely free from factors which could influence the reported test results.

By contrast, contemporary diagnostic tests are not generally based upon a statistically significant theoretical concept, but instead simplistic observations or phenomena, which can be adapted with diagnostic or therapeutic effect.

  • Genetic testing is based upon the assumption that a single gene is responsible for a single pathological process, yet it is recognized that it takes the coordinated function of a number of genes to express a protein
  • Biomarker tests are often based upon measuring the level of a protein or other biologically active material. They fail to take into account that proteins may be coiled and reactive, which is most significant, or that proteins may be uncoiled and unreactive.
As a result, most diagnostic tests are experiential, rarely precisely accurate, incorporate a range of limiting factors, which influence the accuracy and precision of reported outcomes, [33],[34] and do not consider the genetic and/or phenotypic nature of each pathology, i.e., that each pathology has both genetic and phenotypic components; [31],[35] that most medical conditions are polygenomic, multi-systemic and multi-pathological; and that pathological onset is the consequence of systemic dysfunction, not the fundamental stress-related/phenotypic cause.

In addition, drugs are based upon the same fundamental concept, i.e., that a pathology has single pathological onset, and therefore that a drug (or occasionally a combination of drugs) can be used to mask the symptoms of the pathology and provide relief; however, this has significant limitations. The drug(s) may be ineffective in the patient, the effectiveness of the drug(s) wears off after a period, the fundamental stress-related cause of the problem still exists and ultimately influences the stability of other body systems until other pathological issues develop, and other comorbidities are factors. The process, through its ignorance of how the brain regulates the body's function via the autonomic nervous system, merely perpetuates the disease process and leads to the onset of chronically stable pathologies/conditions without dealing with the fundamental neurological cause(s) of the problem.

This lack of understanding of how the brain regulates the body's function, and thereby maintains our health and wellbeing, is perpetuated in the new "digital" paradigm where it is assumed that all things digital must be good; however, most digital techniques such as APPS are merely using digital means to convey existing "analog" or "experiential" data sets around the medical system more quickly and at lower cost. There is nothing the matter with that. The principle is laudable and will improve the efficiency of the medical system to some extent but it does little to improve the fundamental need for better quality data and to make radical change to the cost of healthcare. More data, big data, will yield little of significance unless and until the fundamental principles by which the body functions are recognized and adapted. There is a need for better quality data. [36]

The market is optimistic that future "Point of Care" technologies will emerge-in a digital format-which can enable the patient to monitor their lifestyle and better manage their lives; however, genetic-based approaches have recently encountered significant regulatory issues which threaten their future viability. [37] The plethora of "wearables" is considered by some to be evidence of a short-lived fad which will attract a fitness-oriented clientele. Nevertheless, irrespective of their intended application, there is a need to illustrate that these "medical devices" perform at an acceptable level of performance and thereby justify their use in a medical context. Moreover, initial research illustrates that after an initial honeymoon period the end-user dispenses with their wearable. [38]

Several APPs are being used to measure key parameters such as vital signs and blood glucose levels. Nevertheless, the same basic issues apply. How relevant are the measured parameters? How accurate are the measured results? Are the technologies robust and reliable not just now but also in the future after a period of use? Perhaps, it is for such reasons that there is a body of sceptical opinion in the investment community which considers that the current enthusiasm for anything digital is a bubble which is going to burst. [39]

There needs to be a statistically significant scientific principle, which can be applied via the human-device interface, if digital techniques are to be used to diagnose any medical conditions, and there needs to be a reliable way of delivering and interpreting the measured parameters.

The Strannik technology appears to be the most advanced of this new generation of medical technology. [30] Nevertheless, the entry of such technologies to the market is fraught with political intrigue and practical issues, i.e., it is a radical, disruptive, and quite different way of determining and treating health. It treads the boundary of CAM, neurology, cognitive neuroscience, preventative, and integrative medicine as well as contemporary biomedicine, biofeedback, and all things digital. It incorporates an unprecedented level of understanding of how the brain regulates the autonomic nervous system and of the relationship between molecular biology, cellular biology, organ function, and the coherent function of the organ systems often referred to as physiological systems. [30]

 
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Grakov IG. Strannik Diagnostic and Treatment System: A Virtual Scanner for the Health Service. Minutes of Meeting No. 11 of the Praesidium of the Siberian of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR (AMN) Held in Novosibirsk; 4 December, 1985.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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28.
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29.
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35.
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39.




 

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