Follow The Brand Podcast with Host Grant McGaugh

So6 Executive Presence EP 25: Genomics & Diversity: Dr. Tania Martín-Mercado on Healthcare's Future

September 10, 2023 Grant McGaugh CEO 5 STAR BDM Season 6 Episode 25
Follow The Brand Podcast with Host Grant McGaugh
So6 Executive Presence EP 25: Genomics & Diversity: Dr. Tania Martín-Mercado on Healthcare's Future
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Episode highlight: Dr. Tania Marie Martín-Mercado graces the mic, discussing her ground-breaking work in the fields of genomics and data science. She addresses the much-needed diversity in clinical trials, revealing startling disparities and the need for empowering consumers as they navigate through healthcare systems. Building on the FDA's recent draft guidance, she underscores the vital need for greater representation in these trials. 

Strap in as we unravel the complex process of drug development, the systemic barriers hindering people of color's entrance into the medical field, and the importance of succinct communication. Dr. Tania passionately guides us through the labyrinth of insurance coverages and the art of asking the right questions. We delve deep into the trust deficit and representation gap in genomics and public health, touching on the importance of information literacy.

In the last leg of our journey, Dr. Tania takes us through her work on lupus and PTSD. She sheds light on the grueling process of accurate diagnosis, the importance of identifying root causes, and the potential of machine learning in healthcare. We glimpse the future, guided by Dr. Tania's vision of a healthcare system revolutionized by digital twins, quantum computing, and the convergence of tech giants and biomedical pioneers. Explore the potential, navigate the challenges, and imagine a more personalized healthcare system in this enlightening discussion.

Thanks for tuning in to this episode of Follow The Brand! We hope you enjoyed learning about the latest marketing trends and strategies in Personal Branding, Business and Career Development, Financial Empowerment, Technology Innovation, and Executive Presence. To keep up with the latest insights and updates from us, be sure to follow us at 5starbdm.com. See you next time on Follow The Brand!

Speaker 1:

Welcome to another episode of Follow the Brand. I am your host, grant McGaw, ceo of 5-Star BDM, a 5-Star Personal Branding and Business Development Company. I want to take you on a journey that takes another deep dive into the world of personal branding and business development, using compelling personal stories, business conversations and tips to improve your personal brand. By listening to the Follow the Brand podcast series, you will be able to differentiate yourself from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients and employers. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make it one that will set you apart, build trust and reflect who you are. Developing. Your 5-Star Personal Brand is a great way to demonstrate your skills and knowledge. If you have any questions for me or my guests, please email me at grantmcgauh at 5-Star BDM. Be for brand, be for development and for masterscom. Now let's begin with our next 5-Star episode on Follow the Brand. Today, it's not just any brand story. It's one that has revolutionized fields, broken barriers and changed paradise, from the depths of cyber warfare in the US Army to the ground-breaking act of bio-nison. Dr Tanya Marie Mark-Machau stands as a pillar of resilience, innovation and intellect. Dr Tanya, an illuminator in technology and data science brings to the table not just accolades to the team, but a mission to bring about real change in healthcare. In today's conversation, we'll not only dive into the scientific feats and advancements she's pioneering, but will also touch upon the more profound implications of her work, such as health equity and the pressing need for diversity in clinical trials. Whether she's on the soccer field or in a high-tech lab, dr Tanya is a beacon of passion and perseverance. We'll also venture into the future of healthcare, where we envision a world where tech giants and biomedical pioneers converge and the consumer is empowered like never before. Prepare yourself for the lightning exploration and remember you're tuned into the Firebrand Podcast, where we are currently at the Orange Tower brand that you can follow.

Speaker 1:

Welcome everybody to the Firebrand Podcast. I am Grant McGall and I get to get into an interesting topic today with my very, very special guest. We've heard a lot of talk about genomics. We've heard a lot of it, especially during the COVID pandemic and what that's all about, and that there's disparities in genomics of itself when it comes to creating drugs and creating you know in the pharmacy world and how that affects certain groupings of people, especially when we start getting into precision medicine and what that looks like. You understand, there's different drugs that work differently for different scopes of people, but what's really going on in that world? So I'm going to bring a subject matter expert to the mic. Dr Tanya, we're going to have a great conversation about this so we can move the needle forward. You'd like to introduce yourself, dr Tanya?

Speaker 2:

Sure, my full name is Dr Tanya Marie Martín-Miracredo, so we just focus on Dr Tanya to shorten that full sentence and keep it simple. I have my PhD in biomedical informatics and I tend to focus and get really passionate around genomics, particularly when we talk about genomics for precision health, genomics for community and population health, so on and so forth, and some of the disparities and differences that manifest themselves in the human body based on your heredity, your ethnicity, your environmental impact and stimulus that's coming from outside of your control and how that impacts the way you ingest medicine, the way your body takes in that medicine and delivers it throughout yourself.

Speaker 2:

So that's really my area of interest. Yeah, that's pretty much my guess, Right where I'm at right now. I don't want to get too far in the weeds of my past because it's all over the place. So, yeah, that's where I am right now.

Speaker 1:

Now we're going to focus right in the sweet spot. I just read a recent article that you put out on your blog and I was floored by. I just was floored by because this is good information, it's good intel. You know some things around with. The FDA has put out certain criteria, certain information, certain findings around disparity and genomics and what the implications are, but it still falls a little flat. I would hear from your perspective. That came out maybe even a year ago, so talk to me about what you feel about that particular article and has anything changed in that arena?

Speaker 2:

The second part of your question is easy no, on April 13, 2022, the FDA put out a draft so it wasn't finalized when I wrote that article A draft guidance on developing a plan to help enroll more participants from underrepresented and marginalized communities, and they're rolling these participants into clinical trial and it sounds very lofty. It sounds really great, doesn't it, that they're creating these plans in place. The problem is that the lack of diversity when it comes to clinical studies and clinical research really does impact how drugs are developed and how those drugs interact. In people of different ancestral backgrounds. There are polymorphisms that contribute to a patient's genes, so one person that may be Caucasian may have a certain response to a drug that someone who is a Caribbean Hispanic I'm going to say it because I'm Dominican, I'm going to use myself may have a different outcome, even though the drug is the same, the dosage is the same. The age, weight, blood pressure, all of these other vital signs may be the same, but the drug may manifest itself differently between these two demographics, just simply based on the differences in their genetic history and their genome. So when you look at that and want to include diverse patients into clinical studies, this is why we want to make sure that we are accurately representing the populations that these drugs are developed for, and we can't do that without diverse Participation in those settings.

Speaker 2:

Right, you can't create data from guesswork. Right, you need to actually have evidence, backed data, of these ancestral differences in the way a drug manifests itself in the body. So that's the background of it and why the FDA has put these lofty goals in place. As far as guidance, and Really hear that it's guidance, it's not compulsory, it's like Suggested, right? So there's no, there's no real accountability for drug manufacturers and organizations that run clinical studies. There's no real accountability to meeting those Diverse participation goals, and by accountability I mean financial, I mean delaying the drug being released to market. That's accountability, not like oh well, you tried, so you know.

Speaker 2:

We want to get beyond that, and so my article discusses not only why Diverse representation, clinical trials extremely important for drug development but it also discusses the lack of accountability when it comes to pharmaceutical, the farm industry as a whole, when it comes to meeting the guidelines that they set out. Right, it's just performance, it's performance. So that's what my blog talks about.

Speaker 1:

That is so interesting and it begs the question to find out where is the true cause? Is it because Some diverse populations just are adverse to clinical trials? They don't just pay when there's a call for people to come in and to To test and that type of thing. We're just adverse to that and we just not doing that. Or the pharmacy companies perhaps aren't making any concerted effort to try to enroll a diverse or a diverse population to be a part of your study?

Speaker 2:

It's a convo meal of everything you just stated there. So, if I take that, just roll that back a little bit. When it comes to certain populations being adverse to research, there are a number of historical swimming, actually, particularly among black and I am being very specific African American black Individuals in the in the United States, and some of the atrocities that have Um occurred in the past, historically when it comes to clinical research and being used for research without permission, being put on display without permission. And then we have indigenous populations where their graves were dug up to try to prove white supremacist ideologies Um at, at, you know, using biological data. So they're, you know, without permission digging up graves and decapitating.

Speaker 2:

No, I was a lot of history right. I go on and on, but it's now right, and so I. This is a personal opinion. This is a doctor Tonya opinion. I acknowledge the fact that these atrocities took place in our history and it's it's not, it's not without A valid concern. When you go and you signed up for research, like, am I going to be, am I going to be targeted? You know what? What is all of this information about, you know? And then the recollection there's just distrust Overall among marginalized communities of every ethnicity other than Caucasian. We'd be really blunt about that when it comes to the medical field and when it comes to clinical research, and it's often because we distrust that dialogue. We distrust and just think about we're all patients, right.

Speaker 2:

So think about how you feel when you go into your doctor's office. Is that something that you proactively did? Do you feel comfortable in there? How comfortable you feel talking about your personal life, the personal issues that you're having, particularly if there's a combination Of mental and physical health and well being, and so there's a discomfort right out of the gate and I can say I even have, I have zero personal relationship with my primary care provider, and so I, and it's the VA brand of 20 year veteran, the US Army. I'm going to the VA and I'm still like, I'm asking, so I get. I understand it, but we have to take into consideration that we need to become advocates for ourselves and we cannot continue to stand behind this veil of fear and in prevent ourselves from being accountable for our own care, for speaking up for ourselves, for understanding the implications of what we're eating, what we're consuming, as far as content, when we're living. Having those types of input into our own care matters.

Speaker 2:

And so, when you are invited or if you hear about a clinical study, and your initial responses oh, I don't believe, and this is another one, I don't believe. I don't believe in it. It's a disc, I guess they are. So believe in science, believe in things that you can have a part of and be a part of, and stop hiding behind historical atrocities. Acknowledge that they exist. But that is what has allowed us to do better and have inclusion, exclusion criteria that makes sense, have informed consent and allow you, when you're going into a clinical city, to ask a number of questions. And how does this interact with my current medication revenue? What is this drug actually targeting and what is the outcome? What will it be? Really, ask question, be involved. Don't just sit on your couch and think, oh well, I'm with a Tuskegee experience, I'm not going to get involved. Get involved right, and don't use that fear based logic to paralyze you into being accountable for your own care and the care of your loved ones. So that's, there's that. That is on the individual to take some self accountability.

Speaker 2:

When it comes to the clinical research community and researchers and people developing your research, study and patient recruitment Tactics and strategies, be intentional, right.

Speaker 2:

So if you are working at an organization that is is is tasked with and this could be a clinical resource organization or the direct pharmaceutical company that is tasked with going out and trying to meet diverse criteria, who are you sending out to have these conversations? Do they look like me or do they look like you? How comfortable are you making these, this community, feel? Have you partnered with community-based organizations that already have a presence in these communities to establish some sort of trust? What are you doing that's intentional, versus just putting out like a social media campaign or a radio campaign or a coastal campaign? How are you actually targeting the community that you want to be a part of your initiative and if you aren't being intentional and if you are asking questions of people within that community, how they want to be spoken to and how they want to be reached, then you are deliberately missing the mark, because it is 2023 and the means of communication are vast. So try harder. I don't want to see just, oh well, we put out this campaign and people didn't respond to our survey. Well, what else did you do, right? So that's kind of where my frustration comes in, on both sides of that coin.

Speaker 1:

No, those are valid points all the way around and I saw some things that even took place during the COVID time we were having conversations. But what were the actions that took place? And one of the things I'd suggested, you know we talked about like sticky and some other things that have happened, like, have you openly apologized for those things and I'm talking about the industry as a whole and very few. I found that the US government one time said you know some to that fact, you know at least acknowledge the activity and you know and literally apologize for obviously there was some compensations along those lines, but it was not great. But here we are. We can't afford not to understand what we need to do from a scientific standpoint and the thing that I was referring to, yeah, I think the apology would be great, but you have to talk to people as it is. Here's the science, here's the situation, here's what we need.

Speaker 1:

We understand that different drugs affects different people. I think most people now are starting to understand that certain groups of people are prone to certain disease states than others. So that's your bone wire, like all right. Well, how was this drug developed and where was it developed? And was it developed in the USA? Was it developed in other continents, like where there's a lot of group like you talk about, you know, africa or Caribbean or either other Asian populations, other? Where was this? You know? Where was it tested, when was it delivered?

Speaker 1:

And then the why. So the why is so important and I think in communities that they understand why, especially if it's something like sickle cell. Sickle cell really only affects people of color, right. So who's developing those methodologies and medicines and all these different things for this population that truly needs the help. So communication and really getting the information out there about why this is so important. I think it's so that I would like to see those type of campaigns come out, those kind of town halls come out. Like I said, let's get in a more group discussion. So there, let's get past the past and first acknowledge it but then get into the present by saying here's why this is so important.

Speaker 2:

Right, and it's heartbreaking To witness individuals in such a large quantities, high, their high mortality, high morbidity rates for conditions that were preventable. That could have been managed had they just known the information Right, or have they just taken a little bit more accountability into that care and known to ask the right question? And then we get into some some very, very real, unfortunate situations where we can't control the number of Black and Hispanic positions out there. The quantity is low, right, and so I don't. I don't know how to. I don't know how to impact that.

Speaker 2:

I don't know how to get more individuals of color from marginalized communities to take an interest In health care and become a doctor, because there's so many barriers along the way, right, and I don't mean intellectual, we got it in space, right. What I'm talking about are the systemic obstacles that make it extremely difficult to be a person of color as much as a woman of color, and try to get into the medical field so that you can positively impact your community. So I understand that when you talk about public health, when we talk about genomics, we talk about certain Conditions that impact communities of color, marginalized communities, indigenous communities, so on and so forth, the representation in there, and so it's really difficult to establish trust. It's really difficult to get past when those social atrocities have been literally the people that can contribute it to those atrocities and look like the person standing in front of you, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I understand it becomes difficult, but I still I think we have to take that step.

Speaker 2:

We have to take that step in becoming more informed, understanding. There's a number of genomic tests available that so many people aren't aware of, so many people are color unaware, they don't know what their insurance does or does not cover. The most common one is actually the. It's called a BRC. I call it Breckle-1-Breckle-2 Test for Breast Cancer. Most people Hispanics is statistics right. So statistically, hispanics, blacks, a little sprinkle of Asian Americans on occasion, but primarily blacks and Hispanics do not take that test.

Speaker 2:

And often if you have insurance, it is covered. I believe that there's certain states that have covered it in a broader capacity to include CMS. So Medicare and Medicaid if you're on public insurance. But you have to go and do it and also you need to ask the question when you're in front and let's say you have a family member that has had cancer in the past, asking that question proactively to say, does my insurance cover a biomarker test for cancer, so that I can maybe change my habits, so that I can maybe change what I'm doing differently, right? And so if you're a huge social drinker and you have a history of liver cancer in your family, maybe you want to know that so that you can make some different choices, right? So you just being aware and being accountable and knowing the questions to ask, knowing your own family history and just knowing what isn't covered by your insurance and what you can and can afford. Just asking the right questions has a lot to do with it. But again, I get back to when you're in those situations and you're in front of your primary care provider which a lot of people of color do not have, by the way Do you know what questions to ask?

Speaker 2:

And so then that's another issue is what about the huge number of individuals of all age ranges in marginalized and underrepresented communities that do not have a primary care provider? How many women of color do you know have never been to the gynecologists Never. I know a lot, right and they're not even aware of their own reproductive system. And it doesn't help that we have men making decisions about women's health. It's a completely different topic of conversation that I can go off on a tangent about, but it's.

Speaker 2:

You still have to know your own body. You still have to know the basics of how stuff works. No, there's no such thing as a normal menstrual cycle in a best practice. There's your normal and your normal is specific to you. Same thing with men. How many men, do you know, past a certain age, haven't gotten a prostate cancer test, or been just had their prostate checked, and so and, or know to ask to have that done. Right, because maybe the primary care provider or the doctor that you're standing in front of won't volunteer that because they're not comfortable with you. They know you're not comfortable with them and it just gets weird. You just want to make sure you can go properly.

Speaker 1:

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Speaker 2:

So I just went off on a tangent. I'm sorry. No, no, no.

Speaker 1:

All these things are just important when it comes to health, and then health care. Help us understand what you're doing. Now. You have your business. What are you doing on a day-to-day basis to help to actually grow awareness, to make a difference? Tell us a little bit more about your business.

Speaker 2:

Okay, sure, so I am focused on and this is so limiting when I think about this one thing, but everything I just said, there's two areas that I've really dug deep into. One of them is lupus is considered a woman's disease and it disproportionately affects women of color, of childbearing years, so it's traditionally underfunded and understudied. The second area where I really take a look in is PTSD, because I am a veteran and PTSD is a very personal experience. One version of PTSD for one veteran and I am speaking to the veteran community is very different than another. It depends on when you serve or you're involved in any wars. In that war, were you involved in combat? What was your role? What was your experience in uniform, among the base or just interacting with your superiors?

Speaker 2:

There's a lot of things that go into PTSD, but for both of those conditions there's a biomarker that you can be tested for. Specifically for PTSD it's a biomarker that is basically detecting suicidal ideation. I'm sure we've all read about endorphins and all the happy endorphins and proteins and neurological conditions that contribute to depression. A deficiency in those areas is why people sometimes experience heavy mood swings or depressive states. That's actually a chemical in your brain and that can be measured. There are levels to that chemical in your brain. Too much, you have a manic situation, too little, you have a depressive situation, and everyone's scale has been minimal. If you have taken a consideration in PTSD, which is always an external stimulus, and that external stimulus gives you your own thoughts right, particularly, the more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to come up with some really crazy things that you think could happen, because you can logic your way through it right. And then there's external stimulus, like I'm sure you've heard of people during the 4th of July. There's usually something that says you know, hey, there's going to be fireworks, sounds and firecrackers that can trigger a PTSD response. Too many people in an enclosed location can trigger a PTSD response. You combine those external stimulus with that fluctuation in your brain chemistry and you may be able there's research that needs to be done, so I'm being very careful here you may be able to determine for one individual or a certain population of individual that may be experiencing the same type of PTSD symptoms.

Speaker 2:

How can we personally treat them? How can we prevent an episode? Same thing with lupus. There's a biomarker for lupus just to show that. If you have a predisposition for it. Let me say, if you have it, you just have a predisposition for it.

Speaker 2:

Lupus is extremely hard to diagnose. It takes about six years to accurately diagnose it and it's a combination of factors that you need to have in order for that diagnosis to actually be relevant. So it's not just one, I think it's four, so four out of 12 that you need to consistently show and people within the same family who both have a biomarker for lupus. One may develop it, one may not. Lupus is, you'll see, a lupus flare manifests itself differently due to stress, sunlight exposure and a number of different factors that are very individual.

Speaker 2:

So if I know that I have a predisposition for something like lupus, maybe I can understand myself better. Number one participate in those clinical studies that can measure these things and also have a conversation with my primary care provider of saying you know what? I'm keeping a journal and I've noticed my skin starts to flare up a little bit when these things happen. And it's been consistent, right, and so you just have some of these areas where you can be more proactive in your care, and so, for my purposes of research, I really do like to study is there a biomarker for something, and within that biomarker, what can we, how can we move towards the genomic information to provide a more personalized treatment, more personalized care plan based on a number of different variables? So let me know if that answers your question.

Speaker 1:

I know it's a long- that is a lot on that, but I heard a lot lupus, heard a lot about PTSD. Would you consider yourself a physician? Are you a researcher?

Speaker 2:

No, I don't have the personality to be a physician because I'm really impatient. So I'm definitely on the research side. I like to focus on the prevention and the discovery and the why versus the reaction. In that side of the they kind of play nicely in the same sandbox. But I really do like to discover why someone gets sick and can it be prevented, versus now they're sick, let's treat the condition, definitely the research.

Speaker 1:

You're very proactive in the. You see the cause and the effect. Let's try to look at the root cause of different things. I see you're digging into biotechnology as well. You've done some work with Microsoft in the past. You've done some things with AI. You've seen some of the biases that are in our official intelligence that are happening. A lot of that just really depends on whose programming. Where's the data sets? Where are they coming from? But understanding these different things are very, very important. Talk to us about your research in that area and what some of your findings are that comes to biotechnology.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that is such a green playing field, and I am not an expert. There's so much I still need to know and learn when it comes to that. So it I like to combine the math with the biology and that's basically biotech, right? Or the math with the technology that can automate certain processes or automate an algorithm. So, as we start getting into machine learning and predictive analytics, so if we can come up this is just off the top of my head If we can come up with an algorithm that properly inputs different variables and combines it with the data, the biological data, from a biomarker, can we automate customized treatment plans in a way that can be built in a system, right? So those are the kind of things, and this is a somewhat where we're going.

Speaker 2:

As we start getting into the consumerization of healthcare, we're gonna start seeing people way smarter than me that have very strong mathematical minds to have whatever consider flexible math, right. And so then you have to start getting into weights. So is one variable weighted higher than another? And so that you try to have some sort of consistency, and also, can there be variance in the formula or in that algorithm that allow for, allow for nuances, right? And so you wanna try to create code that can change on the fly based on the input it's being received, and that input could be biological, it could be environmental, it could be human right. So, in a very practical way, I have asthma. Thank you, us Army, I have asthma. Okay, thank you. How it is that when I play soccer religiously, a soccer player how it is outside affects my performance on the field?

Speaker 2:

It's not even the heat, right, it's if they have treated the grass with a chemical and I go out and play, I can feel I can feel that closing up and it'd be the same temperature. So last night I had a game 830 PM here in Dallas, texas is 99 degrees outside. It was fine, yeah. And I was like, wow, right, because the field was different, and I am comparing this to a Sunday game that I have on a different field that I know is just treated. They just laid out the new grass. You can see the little squares that they laid out this new grass, and I was struggling like the temperature was the same. I'm still in the Dallas Fort Worth area. The difference was it came along the field, right. So that's, those are variables, right. What is the constant?

Speaker 2:

I have asthma and it's induced by my environment. I don't have the kind of asthma where I can just be sitting here and have an asthma attack. That's actually a different type as a chronic asthma. I don't have that. I have exercising induced asthma. So my environment directly impacts whether or not I will have an asthma attack. What if we can mathematically program it? I can see the weather outside. I can see, you know, at the bottom of your phone. You can see, like, the pollution levels yeah yeah.

Speaker 2:

So importing those types of variables in there and combining it with my diagnosis, the current prescriptions. I'm on, I have a steroid I'm inhaled it's like a big old disc, and then I have my albuterol, my breast human hammer. Combining that with what I'm currently taking on a regular basis and give me, give me a plan of action for the day. How many minutes should I play? I have no time for I need to get subbed, right, so you know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

So those are the kind of things when we talk about what I just said and kind of make it real, when we talk about environmental variables and how that impacts a person's condition. Think about if you have diabetes. What you eat, what you drink, impacts that that condition in your body and that may be different than someone else. You know, maybe how your body digests sugar is slightly different than the person over here, and maybe your diets are different Right out of the gate, right? Maybe someone has access to organic food and someone has access to kind of the concentrate non-organic, and you can kind of see that in how the US is the most unhelp country.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You're right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no what you're talking about is so important.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's very important. We're not there yet, but we're getting to a point. You're gonna start seeing this breast and the consumerization of healthcare and you look at all the different factors of why this is so important. That because a lot of people when you said something earlier, it was so important how many people actually see a doctor, and even there are people that do see a doctor. If you only see a doctor once a year, typically that's what happens. You take a physical, you go in, you take it once a year, they check you out and if nothing's wrong, you might not see him for another year, right? So we're getting to a point.

Speaker 1:

Now there's a lot that happened here. As far as, if you do start getting some kind of a disease state or something like that, that you get into this constant monitoring mode, what can we actually do that without being intrusive? Right? That you probably trust, right? So, if you can get to I don't even remember to call it AI it's just computerized models that use, because that's such a large amount of data that what you're really talking about is quantum computing, because it would have to take information from so many different variables and, like you said, the weighted measures, what's important, and but starting to give yourself, think about this, if you had this constant readout every day, that from a trusted source obviously to you like, hey, today's world, taking in all the variables at the temperature, everything that's going on, it's just to tell you, like you know what for today in your metabolism, that you are very good at eating carbs, you should be eating this or that. This does give you a whole playbook of information that's specific just to you, meaning it wouldn't really be applicable to someone else. It's very applicable to you.

Speaker 1:

So then again, if you started having some issues, and it probably will tell you you should go check out a physician, and then you have that information that actually upload to another, to a physician who I can see what's going on historically, not just present state, they start to get the better diagnosed states. I think when we get to that level that we could, we can. It's gonna take a little bit of time, but some intentionality to the whole thing, because the healthcare system as it is right now is not affordable Because we're dealing with what you said earlier. You're dealing with people that are already sick. So if they're already sick, that's when we get into chronic care. That's the most expensive type of care. So from a payer perspective, obviously for yourself as well, you want to test that disease state as early as possible and begin treatment right.

Speaker 2:

Right. So what you're referring to, Grant, is we're actually not that far. We're not that far. So take care, I do love Microsoft. Okay, they got their ups and their downs, but man, I love that company. Take Xbox, Now the new ones you can create these really cool avatars of yourself.

Speaker 2:

So imagine if we take that technology and create a digital twin of ourselves. Think about the amount of data that we're constantly giving. We're free to social media. You know, I have a little garment on and I'm constantly taking in readings. These are just ones and zero. These are data variables. Right, these are data points.

Speaker 2:

If I had an avatar of myself, it's a gaming-like environment. Now we have the ability to take that. It's not that we don't have the ability to quantum computing. We've had it limited. It's not that we don't have the technology in place to capture these different data points. We have that for a minute. It's like Legos we need to build it, but the individual pieces are there.

Speaker 2:

So if I had a digital twin of myself and I could take in all of these data points before I even leave the house, I can see, Just imagine that being on my screen. Then I'll Xbox and forward like how's my day going to go, what's going on? You know what I mean. So it's a digital twin. I can interact with people, and then it's in my house. So I don't have to worry about my primary care provider. I don't have to worry about that certain level of discomfort because I really don't want to talk. I'm not also an introvert, so I don't want to talk to you anyway. So if I'm in front of my primary care provider, I'm now more comfortable because they already have the information. I'll have to repeat myself. They may want to validate some of the data points, but they've already got so much information. I'm now more comfortable having a conversation that's not starting from the very beginning. Are you on your period? Are you pregnant? No, Can we focus on the fact.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a personal. I don't know, I'm not a game in two hours, that's right. So these are the kinds of things when we talk about how can we address multiple issues, particularly when it comes to trust and presence and representation in the community. I don't think we can fix that as fast as we can innovate. So we can innovate and create a digital twin of ourselves that can take in all these healthcare data points. Now we have an opportunity to have predicted. Molly, of course you want something that will learn. We know that technology is in place. Have you used Netflix? Have you used Amazon? It's learning all the time and listening and thinking.

Speaker 2:

I shouldn't say that Somebody's going to be like, oh my god, terminator, no it's nothing, but it's basically taking in all these different data points and coming up with suggestions based on your history. Your history could have been two minutes ago, so the technical point is that the technology exists. I think it's easier to combat several of the issues that we've covered today when it comes to lack of trust and community lack of representation lack, lack, lack. We talk about the consumerization of healthcare and bringing it into an applicable situation in your home. Well, we're gaming. Just look what's successful Gaming. So we have the HoloLens, we have extended reality. We have all of this technology available. If we just changed our thought process and used it for healthcare and used it for research, well then we just addressed everything you just said. So just an idea when you ask about the things that I work on, things that I look at, so it starts with what's going on in the human body as it is.

Speaker 1:

And then, how can we?

Speaker 2:

make it so that it's more accessible. This information is accessible to communities and populations that don't have access to it or are uncomfortable.

Speaker 1:

This is so important. I like the fact you say, hey, it's not that far away. This is 2023. We are in the future. So the technology is available, but it has to be intentional.

Speaker 1:

Lives for purpose, that we can get good, constant readouts of our health, just like in the car. When you jump in your car, you're constantly getting the readout, looking at the gauges of its current state, if you need to gas or if you need oil, if there's something going wrong, they check in to the light, might come on and say, hey, you need to go, take it in, and you take it to somebody. Well, what are we doing there for our body? So I think that's something we just certainly do. Yes, we're getting there with the wearables and things of that nature, but taking it to an even higher level. I like what you just said there. This has been wonderful. Before I leave, I want to make sure that you have an opportunity to dress my audience directly, but anything that we have not talked about, that you really truly feel is, first of all, it's super, super important. It's just something you need to take into account as we go forward. What would you say?

Speaker 2:

Just one thing Can I have? Yes, you can have as much as you want, okay. So the first thing I would say to the audience is if you do not have a primary care provider, find one. If you are uninsured or underinsured, do what you can to try to get on public health care. I know that's a lift in some cases, but take that first step. The second thing is that I would say is ask questions.

Speaker 2:

I don't mean Google your condition and hit your doctor up with some random thing that you heard on YouTube. That's not what I mean. What I do mean is take factual information about your health and well-being and be able to present that in a way that you can advocate for yourself, either in front of a doctor or any other public health professional or clinical professional, and be careful, trust the verify. It's a military term, but trust the verify. If your best friend Pookie is telling you not to get the flu vaccine this year because he heard that it was made out of eggs that were genetically engineered with pig DNA and I'm making all this up, but this is a ridiculous and said to you maybe, fact check that. Don't bring that information to your physician, because they're going to look at you crazy because it doesn't make any sense. So make sure you are getting factual information. Trust with verify that information.

Speaker 2:

Google is your friend and it is free, and you can differentiate between reputable sites that have healthcare information versus the trash. So those are the two things I would say. It's just really be accountable for your. You have people. If you're listening to this, I'm pretty sure you have people in your life that love you, to want to see you around. So take a step and be accountable for your own care. That's what.

Speaker 1:

I would say those are very good tips. I want you to take that to heart. If it resonates with yourself, make sure it resonates with other people in your circle so it resonates in our community, so it can all get healthier better. Dr Tanya, this has been wonderful. You've got to let people know. I've seen your website. Tell people where they can get in touch with you.

Speaker 2:

Okay, dr Tanya Mcom, it's very, very simple website. I don't know if you add text to your podcast, but I'm happy to put a link in there If you have questions. If you're uncomfortable, I may not know the answer, I will find you the information. If you have a condition and you're curious about a clinical trial, I will advocate, I will find something for you or tell you. There's not one in place, I'll give you. If you are interested in your care, interested in clinical research, I will try to point you in the right direction as best I can. But don't even with the list, don't even do it.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, she is not. He is very serious person. This has been wonderful. Thank you so much for being on a show, but all of your listeners and your network know they can come to wwwFiveStarBDM. That is B for Brandy, for Development and for Masterscom. We have hundreds of people that have shared their stories, just like you, dr Tanya. We are growing and awareness. We are getting stronger, we're getting better, we are getting smarter in everything that we're doing along a lot of different lines. So thank you for sharing your story with us today.

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The Future of Personalized Healthcare
Tanya's Support Website and Platform