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A Systematic Approach to Alternative Medical Procedures

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Journal article

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In 2007, medical costs in the United States were estimated at 2.4 trillion Keehan et al. 2008. If one included the costs of time lost as a result of illness and of insuring those now uninsured or underinsured, the total would be closer to 3 trillion. Most of the non-time-lost costs are incurred for diagnostics, treatments, drugs, and other therapies. There are ways to lower the costs of health care, such as changing payer-and-profit structures and improving infrastructure efficiency. The largest potential source of savings, however, is minimizing the need to access the health care system, especially for chronic and infec tious diseases. A more strategic, pro - active approach to health care could drastically reduce the need for initial access. In this article I give examples of instances in which synergistic efforts along several fronts could have important implications for the treatment of degenerative and infectious diseases. Indeed, synergistic effects of individual discoveries could help determine optimal treatments, which could eventually help close the gap between the low-cost alternative treatments and preventatives described in the literature and the high cost approaches the mainstream medical community now uses. Without closing this gap, we cannot realistically hope to reduce the high costs of health care and make the treatment of diseases more efficient. In the course of studying this gap, I developed a systematic approach to identify potential treatments and preventative actions for patients with a number of diseases. Using what I call literature-related discovery LRD, I performed an initial proof-of-principle study on Raynauds phenomenon. The studys goal was to identify potential treatments and preventive measures for Raynauds by linking disparate concepts from the medical literature to provide a value-added treatment.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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