Supporting Well-Being with
Vital Biomarkers Monitoring
Why monitor inflammation?
Our immune system holds the most comprehensive and accurate picture of our health at any given time. Inflammation is the manifestation of our immune system response to all harmful stimuli. Therefore, monitoring inflammation by quantifying multiple known inflammation biomarkers, can give us a scientific measure of a person’s health and well-being. Still, interpreting inflammation is a complicated task.
There are multiple inflammation pathways, each involving several stages, multiple immune-system cell types, and thus hundreds of different biomarkers (i.e. Cytokines).
Listening to Our Immune System
Moreover, the level of these biomarkers in a person’s blood depends on many factors including, the size of the affected area; the severity of the immune-system reaction; personal illnesses (e.g. autoimmunity), and many other personal and environmental factors. Therefore, attempting to come up with a ‘one size fits all’ universal ‘health index’ calculated by some sophisticated algorithm is destined to fail. Instead, each person’s inflammation needs to be routinely monitored, generating a personalized baseline to which any future event can be compared. This is a crucial step toward the long-anticipated ‘personalized medicine’ revolution.
Whenever the underlying cause for inflammation persists, our immune system develops Chronic Inflammation*, creating a vicious cycle in which the resulted CI becomes a promoter and the root cause of most illnesses in industrialized countries. These illnesses include cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's (see diagram on the right) and many more, which appear in significantly higher rates in populations following a Western lifestyle, often characterized by excessive stress, poor sleep and dietary habits, physical inactivity, and more. A recently derived index provides an inflammatory score that accounts for the level of ones' System Chronic Inflammation (SCI) and produces actionable data that can be monitored regularly to identify its personal and environmental triggers as well as test the efficacy and potentiality of adverse effects of various proposed interventions that include specific combinations of nutritional supplements, nutraceuticals, medical foods, prescription drugs, and lifestyle modification.
The Big Promise of Artificial Intelligence
Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have emerged as powerful tools for analyzing large amounts of complex information that a human brain couldn't possibly deal with. The use of AI for revealing patterns and understanding our immune system is already underway, generating extremely interesting insights. Implementing similar tools on data generated from monitoring the levels of Cytokines, proteins who carry the immune system messages, in our bloodstream will enable decoding these messages and leading to early detection of these diseases. Such evidence will also provide a crucial basis for ‘Evidence-Based Medicine’ potentially leading to new therapeutics for the above diseases.
It is estimated that 23 Cytokines (17% of all known) are responsible for ~50% of the information exchanged between the immune system cells. Routine (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly) monitoring of these 23 biomarkers at near-patient settings (most Cytokines have very a short lifetime and thus need to be measured soon after blood-draw) can, therefore, open a new horizon in the understanding of the information communicated by our immune system.
At-Home Monitoring of Chronic Inflammation
To address the above need, we, at Proactive Diagnostics, are developing a Direct to Consumer (DTC) test to quantify multiple known acute and chronic inflammation biomarkers using sub-10μL finger-prick blood. With results available in 5-minutes. The test will provide these patients and their physicians an accurate snap-shot of their current inflammation-state on an as-needed basis, at the comfort of their own home. The results will be presented on their mobile device, and will be analyzed using Machine Learning algorithms with other personal information (e.g. food consumed, stress level workout, and sleeping hours) as well as local environmental information (e.g. allergen counts and air-pollution) to help identify the personal inflammation triggers. Such a solution at an affordable price ($5/test) will empower individuals to seek guidance from their physicians, for making healthy lifestyle decisions and improving their quality of life.