Application of Personalized, Predictive, Preventative, and Participatory (P4) Medicine to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A Roadmap for Improving Care?

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Dr. Leroy Hood promotes a paradigm to advance medical care that he calls P4 medicine. The four Ps are: personalized, predictive, preventative, and participatory. P4 medicine encourages a convergence of systems medicine, the digital revolution, and consumer-driven healthcare. Might P4 medicine be applicable to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? OSA should be personalized in that there are different structural and physiological pathways to disease. Obesity is a major risk factor. The link between obesity and OSA is likely to be fat deposits in the tongue compromising the upper airway. Clinical features at presentation also vary between patients. There are three distinct subgroups: (1) patients with a primary complaint of insomnia, (2) relatively asymptomatic patients with a high prevalence of cardiovascular comorbidities, and (3) excessively sleepy patients. Currently, there have been limited efforts to identify subgroups of patients on the basis of measures obtained by polysomnography. Yet, these diagnostic studies likely contain considerable predictive information. Likewise, there has currently been limited application of -omic approaches. Determining the relative role of obesity and OSA for particular consequences is challenging, because they both affect the same molecular pathways. There is evidence that the effects of OSA are modified by the level of obesity. These insights may lead to improvements in predicting outcomes to personalized therapies. The final P—participatory—is ideally suited to OSA, with technology to obtain extensive data remotely from continuous positive airway pressure machines. Providing adherence data directly to patients increases their use of continuous positive airway pressure. Thus, the concept of P4 medicine is very applicable to obstructive sleep apnea and can be the basis for future research efforts.

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