Precision medicine can help us turn research on genes that lead to various mental health conditions into actual treatments for patients, according to Tori Utley, the founder and CEO of Tinua, a social venture start-up company whose mission is “to reduce waste and impact the world by allowing users to allocate wasted funds towards social impact and humanitarian causes.”

Utley explains on why precision medicine’s promise of consistently finding the right treatments for patients is so important to the mental health sector:

Many patients who are on psychotropic medications—antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizers, etc.—often find the right dosage and type of medication based on trial and error. Since psychotropic medications alter a person’s mood, when the wrong medication is prescribed, it can severely impact a patient’s life. Some individuals have the patience to wait and try new medications; others abandon their medications in the midst of a flawed and strenuous process due to the stress, mood fluctuations and decreased quality of life.

The hope that precision medicine offers for mental health patients, she says, is crucial, as “the challenges experienced by patients with mental health conditions and co-occurring disorders can be crippling and may add to the potential risk of suicide.”

“The time is now,” writes Utley, “to see actionable change and exciting advancements in the mental health field based on individualized strategies that empower patients and improve care.”

Read the full article here.


Orion Health CEO Ian McCrae discussed the rise of precision medicine at TedxAuckland. Watch the video now!