News Headlines Article

A Field Of Medicine That Wants To Know Where You Live
National Public Radio

In 1854, an English doctor named John Snow pinpointed an outbreak of cholera in London to a single contaminated water pump.

A pioneer of modern epidemiology, Snow used information about where the sick people lived to deduce that they were drinking tainted water from that source.

And while using clues about peoples’ locations is an important tool in public health, it’s now set to make individual health care even more personal.

“Personalized medicine has … been equated with genomics,” says Dr. Rishi Manchanda, author of The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness to Its Source and presenter of a TED Talk about environmental influences on health last August. “That’s an incomplete view of what personalized means. We are not just creatures of our genes; we are creatures of our environment.”