Medicine made for you: introducing a new series from The Anthill podcast

In Medicine made for you, a new series from The Anthill podcast, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the future of healthcare – and find out how it could soon get a lot more personal.


We’ll hear from leading academics about the personalisation of healthcare, how it’s changing the way we think about our bodies, and the choices we might make about our health in the future.

For much of history, if you had an ailment you’d probably visit an apothecary who’d mix up a medicine for you, based on your symptoms. But that personalised service fell away as the pharmacy profession became more sophisticated and regulated.

Today, if your doctor prescribes you a drug, it’s pretty likely to be designed for an “average” patient, based on how a group of people have responded to a clinical trial. But now advances in medical research mean that for some diseases, doctors are able to prescribe drugs based on a person’s DNA. Known as precision medicine, this kind of approach is breaking new ground in the treatment for some diseases. And it could change medicine for good.

In the first episode of Medicine made for you we’ll be looking at genes, clinical trials and how possible it might be for the NHS to take on a more personalised approach when it comes to our health. And we’ll find out why Scotland, a country of 5.4 million people, with one of the lowest life expectancies in western Europe, is one of the pioneers of this kind of research.

Future episodes will join the search for personalised nutrition to find out how close researchers are getting to designing diets based for our own bodies. And we’ll explore other ways that healthcare is becoming more personalised, including the growth of social prescribing schemes in which patients are offered help to access specific services and activities to help improve their health and wellbeing. We’ll also look at how else the delivery of healthcare is being made more personal, from the delivery of drugs, to who gets screened for particular conditions.

Throughout this series we’ll also explore what’s stopping us from getting a truly personalised form of medicine – and ask whether we’d want this anyway if we consider ethical and economic challenges.

You can listen via The Conversation, or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from by clicking the links below.

The music in this trailer is Is That You or Are You You? by Chris Zabriskie. Medicine made for you is produced by Holly Squire and Gemma Ware, and hosted by Annabel Bligh for The Anthill. A big thanks to City, University of London, for letting us use their studios.

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