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Neel Lecture to Focus on Precision Health, Prediction, Prevention of Disease

Lloyd B. Minor, MD

Lloyd B. Minor, MD

Healthcare is the opportunity of our time, and Precision Health is the way to seize it, according Lloyd B. Minor, MD, who will deliver the H. Bryan Neel III MD, PhD, Distinguished Research Lecture, “Leading the Biomedical Revolution in Precision Health: How Stanford Medicine Is Developing the Next Generation of Health Care,” at 2:15 pm Tuesday in Ballroom C4.

The Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Minor spoke about his lecture in an interview last week. “I will give several examples of Precision Health in action throughout Stanford, as well as explain why Stanford is uniquely poised to lead the biomedical revolution in Precision Health at this crucial moment in history,” he said.

Dr. Minor described Precision Health as shifting the practice of medicine away from diagnosis and treatment to prediction and prevention of disease. “We will help you stay healthy and deliver proactive, preemptive, and preventive solutions, and—when needed—precise and personalized healthcare,” he said. “There are few challenges in healthcare today that cannot be improved upon through the tools and strategies of Precision Health. By focusing on keeping people healthy, and predicting and preventing disease before it presents, we not only improve the quality and health of our patients’ lives but also drive down healthcare costs.”

Dr. Minor, who is also a Professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in the Stanford University School of Medicine, is perhaps best known for his discovery of and subsequent development of a surgery for superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS), a disabiling disorder characterized by sound- or pressure-induced dizziness. He used SCDS as an example of the complexity of conditions seen in otolaryngology and how Precision Health could improve patient outcomes and help physicians make easier, faster, and more accurate diagnoses.

“Even after we published papers [1998] describing the syndrome and presented our work at many national and international meetings, we still found that many patients were making their diagnosis from doing an Internet search of key words such as ‘sound’ and ‘vertigo,’” he said.  “Some of these patients had seen many excellent specialists who had not made the association between the symptoms, signs, and diagnosis of superior canal dehiscence.”

Stanford’s Precision Health could help avoid such delays in diagnosis and care. Stanford Medicine is pioneering a searchable, intelligent system called, “Patients Like You” that quickly analyzes vast amounts of data and brings information directly to patients and physicians, Dr. Minor said. “Patients Like You allows physicians to base their treatment decisions on millions of other cases, literature, mobile monitoring, and real-life experience with drugs.”

Another part of Precision Health is the training of physicians and scientists. “We are continuously evaluating our medical curriculum to make sure we are meeting the needs of a new generation of learners who will be expected to understand the scientific underpinnings of medicine and practice in an evolving healthcare system,” Dr. Minor said.

Funded by the Neel family and friends, the H. Bryan Neel III MD, PhD, Distinguished Research Lecture was established in 1993 to disseminate information regarding new developments in biomedical science to the otolaryngologic community.