Solving Worldwide Health Illiteracy with the Science of Medicine, SOM®

The first step in solving Worldwide Health illiteracy is learning the Science of Medicine, SOM®.  What is the Science of Medicine? The Science of Medicine is the most objective part of the existing medical knowledge; the part most free of human bias and conflicts of interest.

The Science of Medicine SOM® is derived from statistics within the medical literature. For example, how much does a particular chemotherapy increase your 5-year overall survival according to the best study done so far?

Evidence-Based Medicine has three steps:

1. The Science of Medicine SOM®
2. The knowledge of the physician
3. The values and preferences of the patient

What patients, doctors, nurses, and others need is an online database of the Science of Medicine, SOM®. It's very difficult to review and summarize the over 29 million medical articles on Medline. We should have an online, and offline, database that does it for us.

We need a list of treatments with Treatment Scores for everything. We need an online database of what we actually know and don't know, and it needs to be quantified. We need a database about the medical literature, about the gross and net treatment benefit of medical treatments, and also about hypotheses regarding medical treatments.

I saw a commercial on TV for a drug called Harvoni. It is used to treat hepatitis C. Interestingly, by narrowing down the diagnosis to a more specific diagnosis, and by only reviewing randomized controlled trials, I found the gross treatment benefit for Harvoni to be 95%, as in a 95% cure rate at three months. This is impressive as the old interferon-based treatment for hepatitis C only had a Treatment Score of about 40, or 40%. Harvoni appears to be at least twice as good as the old treatment.

Healthcare should be this simple. You get a diagnosis. Then, you get a list of treatments with Treatment Scores for that diagnosis.

DISCLAIMERS: I have nothing to do with Harvoni and don't get paid by Harvoni. Always see your own physician for diagnosis and treatment. We do not give medical advice and we do not form patient-doctor relationships.

Bradley Hennenfent, M.D.
@BradMD on Twitter

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