Definitions and References

PPPM Centre

Predictive, Preventive & Personalised Medicine Centre

PPPM: Definitions and References


  • Health
          We define as a physical phenomenon which can be characterized as steady state of quick and reliable counterbalancing of the effects of external and internal factors, thus allowing a particular person/organism to live and thrive at will. Any significant disbalance caused by an influencing factor may lead to a disease or death, if not prevented or adequately addressed. According to the WHO definition, “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity“ and there are also defined determinants of health, which include the social and economic environment, the physical environment, and the person’s individual characteristics and behavior [link].
    A dictionary definition says that health is the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit. A medical definition view health as the condition of an organism or one of its parts in which it performs its vital functions normally or properly.
  • Disease
          We may define as physical state of a particular person/organism characterized by a significant disbalance in all vital processes, caused by an influencing interal and external factors that may lead to death if it is not prevented or adequately addressed in order to let the person/organism live and thrive at will.
    A dictionary definition says that disease is an impairment of the normal state of the living organism or one of its parts that interrupts or modifies the performance of the vital functions, is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms, and is a response to environmental factors (as malnutrition, industrial hazards, or climate), to specific infective agents (as worms, bacteria, or viruses), to inherent defects of the organism (as genetic anomalies), or to combinations of these factors.
  • Suboptimal health state
          Abbreviated as SHS was defined as a physical state between health and disease and is characterized :
    • by the perception of health complaints, general weakness and low energy within a period of 3 months
    • as a subclinical, reversible stage of chronic disease
  • Therapy
          We define as an action, or series of actions, assisted by a medical professional and undertaken by a person suffering of a particular disease/diseases, in order to_
    • stop the progression of the disease and gain full health
    • slow down the progression of the disease or turn the disease into a chronic state if gaining full health is not currently possible
  • Prediction
          We define as an early foreseeing or expecting of the possible future health problems on the basis of information and evidence generated by diagnostic procedures, mathematical and computer assisted analysis of the obtained complex data in the context of the latest knowledge of medicine, science and technology, in a person who is not visibly suffering from any disease at a given time. The prediction is also a prognosis of future health/disease condition in a particular time in a patient already suffering from a disease.
    In general, “prediction” is defined as a “statement about what will happen or might happen in the future”.
  • Prevention
              We understand as an active effort focused on avoiding a development of a pathology/disease and/or minimizing the disease-related and disease-treatment-related complications, on the basis of latest scientific knowledge and information obtained through diagnostic and analytical procedures and on the basis of the subsequent comprehensive analysis of all relevant data, while insuring that this effort does not harm the individual/patient nor limits his or her rights and well-being.
    The dictionary definition of “prevention” says that it is “the act or practice of stopping something bad from happening “
  • Personalized attitude
              Means that we realize that the patient or a healthy individual is not interested in a statistical analysis of the health of the entire population but he/she seeks the solutions of his/her health problems and the problems of his or her relatives. For example, we can hardly expect that a mother whose child dies or is badly damaged after undergoing a medical treatment will be happy if informed that this medical treatment is otherwise effective in virtually 100% of cases. The opposite is true and the mother will rightly ask why the 21st century medicine was not able to predict the medical treatment complications in her baby before the treatment was ever recommended. The personalized approach means that the medicine will have to consistently take into consideration the needs and rights of the patient and comprehensively analyze all available information, so that the patient or heatlhy individual can be informed in advance of possible problems if he or she decides freely to undergo the proposed medical procedure or treatment or take preventive actions. The patient must always be treated with regard to his/her individual characteristics and needs resulting from his/her free will, current state of health, genetic pre-dispositions, prior therapies and their potential side-effects, physical and psychological status, as well as other patient/individual-specific factors.
  • Medical travel
          According to the Hill Concise dictionary1, medical travel is the “combination of medical care, usually of a type like pediatric neurosurgery or experimental cancer therapy, that is not available near patient’s home, with pleasure”.

    EPMA’s definition of Medical Travel presented in 2015 says that it is a combination of PPPM-based medical care that is not available near client’s (healthy person or a patient) home, with client/patient-centered relax, wellness, sport, nutrition, health education and other health-supporting activities in order to improve client’s health and/or prevent potential health problems by early predictions and, in the case of identified pathology, redirecting client to a specific medical facility for personalized treatment.
    1. Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
  • Travel medicine
          In order to prevent confusion with “medical travel” here we provide the published definition of “travel medicine”, also known as “emporiatrics”, is the “branch of medicine that deals with the prevention and management of health problems of international travellers.” Burchard GD. Travel medicine-the next 10 years. Eur J Med Res. 1999 Sep 9;4(9):399–402
  • Health tourism
          Yet another term that is related to “medical travel” is “health tourism” which is defined as “the practice of travelling abroad in order to receive medical treatment.

    According to the pronounced opinions it is important to keep in mind that health tourism is a business, where health tourism products and services are offered; with each having its specific provider, name and price.
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Definitions and References