Research explores updating yearly checkups with digital medicine; finds examining glucose control system to be more comprehensive in assessing people’s health and could lead to early detection of diabetes
TORONTO, ON/NEW YORK, NY – May 26, 2020 – The conventional yearly medical checkup is due for a redesign. New Klick Health research published in Nature Digital Medicine says physicians could get a more comprehensive view of their patients’ health – and even help predict chronic disease early by assessing the interdependence of their health indicators and the body’s homeostasis system that controls them. The current standard of care looks at health readings like temperature, blood pressure, and glucose levels in isolation and at a single point in time, whereas the research study took continuous data readings and mapped them onto a new mathematical model.
Klick’s “Homeostasis as a proportional–integral control system” study provides the medical community with scientific reason to re-evaluate how they assess people’s health. The newly developed model could make annual checkups more informative and holds tremendous promise in helping healthcare professionals identify and predict disease states ahead of time.
Daniel Kraft, MD, Founder and Chair of Exponential Medicine, said, “The practice of medicine has traditionally leveraged small amounts of discrete intermittent data usually collected within the four-walls of a clinical facility. But the convergence of technology is enabling real-time, anywhere continuous data collection; and novel approaches and analytics leveraging dynamic analytics, as described by Klick Health researchers, are poised to transform our understandings of health and disease and facilitate proactive physiologic optimization, early disease detection, and personalized optimization of therapeutics.”
“Medicine is often empirical and statistical in how it rates health or disease, while modeling physiology is highly complex and impractical outside of pure research,” explained Yan Fossat, Vice President of Klick Labs and principal investigator of the study. “To bring modeling into the practice of medicine, we used mathematics to represent the behavior of the body without having to describe its physiology. This simple model could be a transformative, new way to measure health with more depth.”
Using longitudinal and dynamic data for greater insight
Paradoxically, like traditional biometrics, the homeostasis values are also single metrics so they do not require more time to read or analyze but could give physicians greater overview into patients’ health and more insight into their future health outcomes, including flagging potential chronic illnesses like diabetes.
“We believe this new approach that evaluates health using longitudinal and dynamic data will provide much more information than traditional, static, biometrics,” said Adam Palanica, PhD, Behavioral Scientist at Klick and co-author of the study. “It’s like being able to see an entire city from a helicopter versus standing on the street; you can simultaneously view everything at once without spending any more time doing it.”
Lennaert van Veen, PhD, Professor of Applied Mathematics at Ontario Tech University and a co-author of the study, said, “We suspect that early warning signals for various chronic diseases are hidden in data we can easily measure, like body temperature or, in this study, blood glucose levels. To tease those signals out, we compared the test subject’s data to glucose levels predicted by a simple mathematical model. This approach seems to give us more insight than purely data-driven techniques.”
While the research was within the field of diabetes, examining the continuous glycemia of healthy, non-diabetic subjects, the proportional–integral control system approach could also be applied to assess and prevent depression, hypertension, obesity, and other chronic diseases.
The study, an alliance between industry and academia, was conducted by Klick Labs in collaboration with Ontario Tech University and the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Last year, Nature Digital Medicine published Klick’s research on digital voice assistants’ comprehension of the most commonly dispensed medication names, a fundamental first step toward better understanding the technical capabilities of speech recognition for drug names.
Klick’s “Homeostasis as a proportional–integral control system” study can be viewed at: https://rdcu.be/b4lm5.
Klick Health is the world’s largest independent commercialization partner for life sciences. For over two decades, Klick has been laser focused on developing, launching, and supporting life sciences brands to maximize their full market potential. Klick has been named Agency of the Year six times over the last eight years by the industry’s leading publications. The Klick group of companies—Klick Health and Sensei Labs—is an ecosystem of brilliant minds working to maximize the full potential of their people and clients. Established in 1997, Klick has teams in New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, and across North America. Klick has consistently been named a Best Managed Company and Great Place to Work. In 2019, the company was recognized with 11 Best Workplace awards, including Best Workplaces for Women, Employee-Recommended Workplaces, Most Admired Corporate Cultures, and Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators.