Dr. John Spertus

Expert Exchange

Personalized Medicine: Your Healthcare Should be as Unique as You Are

Dr. John Spertus is on a mission to improve the way healthcare is delivered to patients. His research is focused on the customization of healthcare: as every person is unique, their healthcare should be unique too. In this video, it’s clear that he’s committed and excited about the future of personalized medicine. Spertus applies this research to his patients with positive outcomes.

No person is exactly the same, so no medical treatment should be exactly the same. This concept is at the heart of Dr. Spertus’ research and one for which he is truly passionate.

“The right treatment for you might be very different than someone else who has the same medical problem but a completely different profile of characteristics,” says Dr. Spertus.

Characteristics like gender, race, sex, life style habits and even religious beliefs must all be factored into the type of treatment patients are receiving. By knowing and understanding these traits, doctors can not only better treat a patient; they can more accurately predict the future recovery of the patient.

The hope is that, “patients can understand very clearly how well I’m going to do with one treatment versus another,” says Spertus.

Most of his research has been in cardiovascular diseases, although Spertus and his team are doing work with stroke, breast cancer and other health conditions. The team is interested in figuring out how to apply the available evidence to an individual patient to select the best therapy for them in collaboration with their doctor.

“We think that’s going to really improve care, result in much more cost-effective care, and really allow patients to get treated as they want, and that’s something that if the health system were honest, we haven’t really done a good job of doing to date,” says Spertus.

With greater advances in technology, particularly advances in healthcare technology, Spertus sees no reason why treatment can’t start moving towards this kind of healthcare system. And Kansas City is welcoming these new advances.

“I don’t know of any other group in the country doing as much in this space as we are in Kansas City. It’s very exciting to be on the forefront, to be able to do this kind of work, to really innovate and be a pioneer in areas that you know we can stand out from amongst the crowd as those that are doing the most to improve healthcare,” says Spertus.

This supportive community helps Spertus apply his own research when taking care of a patient and the patients are willing to participate too.

“Everybody that we’ve wanted to collaborate with has welcomed us with open arms and we’ve tried to reciprocate by anyone who’s interested in working with us, trying to figure out how we can most help them be successful,” says Spertus.

Spertus and his team’s ultimate goal is to create more of this type of research which will rapidly increase the recognition of Kansas City –both nationally and internationally –as a real hotbed of healthcare.

Given Spertus’ passion, there is little doubt that he can make this a possibility.