Theranostics, the merger between therapeutics and diagnostics, paves the path for personalized medicine. It is regarded as a tool for achieving digital health and can be considered among fourth generation technologies in pharmaceuticals.
Healthcare systems are facing tough decisions on account of ageing populations, increase in chronic diseases and depleting public finances. There is a paradigm shift toward integrating therapeutics and diagnostics rather than developing and deploying them separately. In this gradual move toward personalized medicine, companion diagnostics are an intermediate stage. The next development is the emergence of Theranostics, in which single chemical entities are developed to deliver therapy and diagnosis simultaneously.
Theranostics can be an effective tool in digital healthcare that renders specifically targeted therapy through precise and accurate diagnostic data. This aids in the early diagnosis of the disease which if undetected, could escalate to damage of major body organs. Theranostics has been successfully exploited in oncology and is now emerging as a possibility for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia etc., cardiovascular diseases, immunological disorders, osteoporosis, diabetes, etc.