Jacobs Journal of Internal Medicine

The Systems Biology Oriented, Holistic Vision of Personalized Medicine and The Emerging Concept of Proactive Herbal Medicine

*Alessandro Buriani
Department Of Medicine, Gruppo Data Medica, Italy

*Corresponding Author:
Alessandro Buriani
Department Of Medicine, Gruppo Data Medica, Italy

Published on: 2016-10-10


Application of –omics is rapidly growing in the clinic, providing a large number of clinically actionable information for clinical decisions. With new ability to analyze risk factors, a proactive, preventative and pre-emptive strategy may be used to sustain the individual’s health balance and proactively “normalize” pathogenetic dysfunctions, before a disease condition develops. This shift from a disease-oriented, reactive medical approach, to one that includes wellness-oriented proactivity is a potential game changer in many aspects of clinical practice. Interestingly, traditional medicines possess a deep knowledge on preventative strategies and collectively represent today one of the largest experience based knowledge in prevention. This knowledge should be exploited using a patient centered Evidence Based Medicine approach so that herbal drugs and dietary interventions can have a central role in the emerging wellness oriented, proactive approach to health of Personalized and Precision Medicine. The advances of systems medicine, as well as -omic diagnostic techniques, or “diagnostic-omics”, are now providing formidable new strategies and tools for a guided and assisted use of phytocomplexes, which could provide pro-active strategies for disease prevention.


Holistic Vision; Medicine; Proactive Herbal Medicine


Personalized medicine can be broadly described as a customization of healthcare, characterized by the diagnostic exploitation of high throughput -omic thechniques and a holistic vision of the individual, seen as a unique biological super-system. The term P4 medicine has been also used to highlight four of the pillars of the new approach, that is “Predictive”, as it uses molecular diagnostic tools to precisely predict individual health risks and treatment responses; “Preventive”, aimed at acting to stop a disease before it occurs and maintain wellness; “Personalized”, collecting and integrating each subject’s unique clinical, genomic, molecular and environmental characteristics, in order to make informed decisions for the best individualized care; “Participatory”, promoting patients’ participation and empowerment. Recently the term “precision medicine” has been used to stress the ability of -omic techniques (diagnostic- omics) to identify molecular patterns and guide targeted interventions with high specificity. Regardless of the label used, this innovative medical approach is fast spreading, and models for effective clinical application are being developed.