Deep phenotyping using SNOMED-CT: A way to right treatment of mental illness

Deep phenotyping using SNOMED-CT: A way to right treatment of mental illness

The practice of medicine is based on discovering common or unique features among patients to determine the corresponding treatment. Given a patient grouping (phenotype), clinicians can implement a treatment pathway accounting for the underlying cause of disease in that phenotype. The novel approach of precision medicine arose due to the gaps in the conventional treatments that failed to take into account the genetic and environmental differences in the disease population.

The rapid growth in genetic sequencing, coupled with the increase in the understanding of the molecular basis of diseases, has busted the belief of homogeneity among various disease populations through the identification of increasingly granulated divisions of disease populations. Until 2010, around 2,000 clinical genetic tests had been developed based on the molecular analysis for nearly 4,000 Mendelian disorders.

Aiming for precision medicine

For precision medicine to become a reality in mental health, it is necessary to have the scope of conducting precise assessment, monitoring and feedback. To realize the potential of precision medicine, the need of the hour is to have deeper phenotype and genotype information related to the disease population to customize the treatment accordingly.

The past decade has seen a flare-up for information stored in the electronic health records (EHRs).  Many researchers are leveraging this for gathering various clinical information beneficial for the treatment. Several studies on EHRs focused on exploring the direct benefits of such a large amount of patient information in improving patient care, cost savings, interoperability, etc.

In a groundbreaking research, led by Richard Jackson, Rashmi Patel and other scientists from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, researchers sought to explore serious mental illness (SMI) symptomatology using more than ten years of observations made during the real-world clinician/patient interactions.

Researchers utilized a large corpus of health care data and combined those using appropriate clustering techniques and manual curation. Scientists developed a priori knowledge discovery method to identify the patterns of the real-world language usage that reflect clinically relevant SMI symptomatology within the context of a large mental health care provider. They also tried to bridge the gap between the global and local definitions of diseases. It becomes essential in the case of mental diseases due to the variations in definitions, despite the development of biomarkers.

Furthermore, the derivations of the EHR are compared with the modern version of the U.K. Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms (SNOMED-CT) (v1.33.2) to find more granular symptom based on the patient/clinician interactions. This assists in supplementing the available resources like SNOMED CT to classify psychiatric disorders with finer resolution and greater real-world validity.

The investigators found that SNOMED CT offers a rational coverage of what clinicians believe to be the most striking features of a psychiatric disorder. However, they found that the clinical staff makes use of a diverse vocabulary in the course of their interactions with patients not represented in SNOMED CT. This raises questions like whether clinicians should observe the constraints of SNOMED CT or whether SNOMED CT should incorporate greater flexibility to reflect the nature of mental health.

Get treatment to overcome mental illness

At times, health care providers have to repudiate patient privacy by  sharing their mental and behavioral health information to enhance the treatment outcomes.  This can also help other patients suffering from similar diseases. It will also ensure significant results in the case of mental illness. Mental health is as important as physical health.

One should not hesitate in seeking medical intervention to ensure the well-being of his or her mental health. If you or your loved one is experiencing any symptoms of mental disorder, you can seek help from the Colorado Mental Health Help. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-899-5063 or chat online to speak to our experts regarding the best mental health treatment centers in Colorado.