Insight: Ideas for Change Episode 1: Mehmet Oz on Personalized Medicine and Sleep

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Insight: Ideas for Change Episode 1: Mehmet Oz on Personalized Medicine and more (World Economic Forum)

English: Photo of Dr.Oz at the Time 100 Gala.
Photo of Dr.Oz at the Time 100 Gala. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sound Sleep:

Five per cent of us have a genetic ability to function effectively on less than six hours sleep a night. For the rest of us, sleep deprivation -- sleeping less than seven and a half hours a night -- leads in the short term to a loss of effectiveness and in the longer term to serious health problems such as an increased risk of high blood pressure and cancer.

It even manifests as a higher risk of mortality among shift workers. Unfortunately, the relentlessness and stresses of modern life put pressure on our ability to get a good night's sleep.

So, how can we ensure we get enough sleep? Oz recommends that people set their alarm clocks not for when they want to wake up, but seven and a half hours earlier, to remind them to go to bed and have the opportunity of a full sleep quota. And switch off those mobile phones.

Personalized Medicine

Twenty per cent of medical advice is incorrect -- for the simple reason that we all have a different genetic make-up. The number of patients who do not respond to first-time drugs for almost all diseases is high -- up to 70% for Alzheimer's or cancer patients; and this high failure rate is bad for patients and expensive for healthcare systems. Oz recognizes that we can have more efficient, better value medicine if we personalize medical intervention based on an individual's genome; this facilitates identification and early intervention for those at risk of chronic diseases, delaying the onset and minimizing the effects of the illness. The battle over healthcare costs will not be won in the heart of government -- it will be won by personalizing medical services.

Mehmet Cengiz Öz (born June 11, 1960), also known as Dr. Oz, is a Turkish-American cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and television personality.