Saturday, June 11, 2016

Treatment Scores Tutorial 2: The Big Picture

The Treatment Score = the net benefit of the treatment. We need to expand upon our comparison of Treatment Scores being like gross income and net income and add some details. When you do your taxes, you figure out your gross income and net income. Before you undergo a medical treatment, you need to figure out your “gross treatment benefit” and “net treatment benefit.”

Why is this such a big deal? It’s a big deal, because doctors have never provided the “net treatment benefit” before. You may have to demand Treatment Scores!

In fact, in perfect world, physicians would provide you with the “net absolute treatment benefit for the patient as determined by the doctor and you, the patient, working together doing personalized medicine and shared decision-making.” That’s too much to say, so we use the simple phrase, Treatment Score. Let’s start creating that perfect world.

Here is the longer formula:
The Treatment Score = gross treatment benefit + side benefits – side effects.

Treatment Scores have been a secret, a mystery, unable to be calculated, and almost systematically hidden from you until now.

Why don’t you already know Treatment Scores? It’s because the organization of the data is difficult. One diagnosis may have 10 treatments. Each of those treatments may have 10 vital statistics. Each of those statistics may come from 10 different references. Each of those references may have 10 different variables. All of a sudden, you have 10×10×10×10 = 10,000 pieces of information! Some situations have 100,000 pieces of information.

Thankfully, the entire process can be made easy with technology. We simply put a graphical user interface over it. It’s like the early days of the computer. Back in the early days only those who could do machine language could use a computer. Then, Xerox, Apple, and Windows put a graphical user interface over the computer, and suddenly everyone could use one. That’s what we have done for science-based medicine, evidence-based medicine, and medical treatments; we have put a simple graphical user interface over all the organization of information and calculations.

You may be aware of some big problems in medicine: over-treatment, under-treatment, harmful treatment, and lack of treatment transparency. Treatment Scores help to fix all of these things.

Treatment Scores are a revolution, because the very idea of treatment transparency is a revolution. Basically, everyone has always assumed quantified treatment transparency in healthcare was impossible, because it has been too difficult for most people to even comprehend.

When you get sick with a disease, you need to review the medical literature for a list of treatments for that disease. In general, the more treatments that exist for a disease, the less effective the treatments are. For example, there are 130 treatments for insomnia, because most of the treatments for insomnia don’t work very well. There are 57 treatments for an acute migraine headache, because most treatments for an acute migraine headache don’t work very well. There are only a few treatments for stage I testicular cancer, because those treatments do work well in terms of increasing overall survival.

Once you get diagnosed with a disease, any disease, for each and every treatment for that disease, you need to figure out the “gross treatment benefit” for patients that have been treated in the past. Then, you need to figure out the “net treatment benefit” for those same patients that have been treated in the past, which is the Treatment Score.

For example, I just read a medical paper. The diagnosis was migraine headache. The focus was on migraine headache prevention. The treatment was “botulinum toxin A” injected into the outer surface of the skull. Let’s summarize this:

Diagnosis: migraine headache, prevention
Treatment: botulinum A injection
Treatment Score: 0

What if in the future you could get a list of treatments like this:

1. botulinum A injection
2. sumatriptan
3. ginger powder

What if you get a list of all 57 treatments for an acute migraine headache and their Treatment Scores? That would be a great step forward in healthcare!

There are additional details that can be provided, and they will be in other essays on this blog. Right now, we are trying to give you the big picture:
The Treatment Score = the net treatment benefit for the patient.

Treatment Scores will be great for mobile health, because Treatment Scores will download easily onto a smart phone.

There has been lots of talk about “big data” and “health information technology,” but there has been little to show for it. The Treatment Score is the product, which everyone needs, that can actually be produced using big data and health information technology. All healthcare consumers need Treatment Scores and all healthcare distributors need Treatment Scores.

Treatment Scores are the statistics that you need every day:

What is the Treatment Score for Harvoni for hepatitis C?
What is the Treatment Score for Ambien for insomnia?
What is the Treatment Score for ginger powder for an acute migraine headache?
What is the Treatment Score for the radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer?
What is the Treatment Score for the Xiao surgery for incontinence?

Treatment Scores are the statistics that will “ride the wave” every news cycle; for example, what are the Treatment Scores for Zika virus treatments?

If you are a physician, nurse, pharmacist, dentist, or other allied healthcare professional, or are an expert patient, you need to start figuring out the Treatment Score for each and every treatment you know about.

What does all this mean for you? It means for the first time in your life you should ask your physician, “What’s the Treatment Score for that?”

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DISCLAIMERS:
You must consult your own licensed physician, or other licensed medical professional, for diagnosis, treatment, and for the interpretation of all medical statistics including Treatment Scores. Treatment Scores are for educational purposes only. Treatment Scores may be incomplete, inaccurate, harmful, or even cause death if used for treatment instead of consulting a licensed medical professional. No medical advice is being given. We DO NOT CLAIM to cure, treat, or prevent any illness or condition. Nor do our services provide medical advice or constitute a physician patient relationship. Contact a physician or other medical professional if you suspect that you are ill. Call emergency services (call 911 if available) or go to the nearest emergency room if an emergency is suspected. We are not responsible for any delays in care from using our website, our services, or for any other reason. We are not responsible for any consequential damages of any nature whatsoever. We make no warranties of any kind in connection with our writings or the use of TreatmentScoresBlog.com or TreatmentScores.com. Treatment Scores are about what happened to patients studied in the past; they do not predict the future.

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