Systems medicine

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Systems medicine is an inter-disciplinary field of study that looks at the dynamic systems of the human body as part of an integrated whole, incorporating biochemical, physiological, and environment interactions that sustain life. Systems medicine draws on theories from holistic medicine, systems science and systems biology when developing a comprehensive approach that considers complex interactions within the human body to promote an individual’s health in light of their genomics, behavior and the external environment.[1][2][3]

Systems medicine has been popularised by, among others, Deepak Chopra, VA Shiva Ayyadurai and Andrew Weil.[2] The earliest uses of the term systems medicine appeared in 1992, in an article on systems medicine and pharmacology by B.J. Zeng [4] and in a paper on systems biomedicine by T. Kamada.[5]

Systems medicine draws from the conceptual frameworks of systems theory and holism, which is a non-reductionist descriptive and investigative strategy for generating explanatory principles of whole systems. Attention is focused on the emergent properties of the whole rather than on the reductionist behavior of the isolated parts. The approach typically involves and generates empathetic, experiential, and intuitive understanding, not merely analytic understanding, since by the definition of the approach, these forms are not truly separable.

An important topic in Systems medicine and Systems biomedicine is the development of computational models that describe disease progression and the effect of therapeutic interventions. [6] [7]

Another opinion is arguing with above ideas, they think that (1) system medicine is considering the whole body, not sub-systems or partial body, (2)system medicine should have its system drugs, and (3)system medicine must be grow up from the classic system medicine, i.e. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). [8]

List of systems (bio)medicine research groups[edit]

Country University / Institute Department / Center / Program / Network Participants
 Ireland Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical Systems Biology[9]
 Luxembourg Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine Computational Biology group[10]
 Netherlands Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) Department of Biomedical Engineering, Computational Biology Group (CBio)[11] Natal van Riel, Peter Hilbers
 United States Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) Leroy Hood, Alan Aderem, Ruedi Aebersold


  1. ^ Ayyadurai, VA Shiva; Chopra, Deepak. "Systems Health: The Future of Medicine". 
  2. ^ a b "Systems Health - Dr. VA Shiva Ayyadurai". Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Federoff, Howard; Gostin, Lawrence O. (2009). "Evolving from Reductionism to Holism: Is There a Future for Systems Medicine?". Journal of the American Medical Association 302 (9): 994–996. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1264. 
  4. ^ Zeng (B.) J., On the holographic model of human body, 1st National Conference of Comparative Studies Traditional Chinese Medicine and West Medicine, Medicine and Philosophy, April, 1992 ( termed "systems medicine and pharmacology").
  5. ^ Kamada T. ,System biomedicine: a new paradigm in biomedical engineering. Front Med Biol Eng. 1992;4(1):1-2.
  6. ^ de Winter W, DeJongh J, Post T, Ploeger B, Urquhart R, Moules I, Eckland D, Danhof M. A mechanism-based disease progression model for comparison of long-term effects of pioglitazone, metformin and gliclazide on disease processes underlying Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn. 2006 Jun;33(3):313-43.
  7. ^ Tiemann CA, Vanlier J, Oosterveer MH, Groen AK, Hilbers PA, van Riel NA. Parameter trajectory analysis to identify treatment effects of pharmacological interventions. PLoS Comput Biol. 2013 Aug;9(8):e1003166
  8. ^ Li WB, et al.
  9. ^ Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Medical Systems Biology
  10. ^ Computational Biology group, LCSB
  11. ^ Computational Biology Group, Eindhoven University of Technology