Platelet-rich plasma therapy has helped a lot of people dealing with soft tissue and musculoskeletal injuries. It has proved valuable in aesthetic medicine as well, being utilized as a treatment for alopecia and the effects of aging in the skin. And yet, PRP therapy is subject to a number of different challenges that are preventing it from being utilized to its fullest potential. Three such challenges will be addressed in this post.
Here at the Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute, our primary goal is to train clinicians who wish to utilize PRP and stem cell treatments in their own practices. We also teach doctors and clinics alike the best methods for marketing regenerative medicine. Our experience in regenerative medicine field helps us to see things from a somewhat unique perspective. It is from that perspective that we have identified the three challenges described below. Each of the three can be overcome with data.
Challenges Hindering Wider Adoption
The three challenges of which we speak are directly impacting the adoption of PRP therapy and other regenerative medicine procedures. Our industry would do well to recognize them and find ways to overcome them. We will talk about how data can do that in just a minute, but let us start with the challenges first:
1. Unpredictable Outcomes
It is exceedingly difficult, if not downright impossible, for a doctor to accurately predict the outcome for each patient who elects to receive PRP therapy. There is just too much variation. One patient suffering from osteoarthritis might experience complete relief from all pain. Another might experience a 50% reduction while a third might see no relief at all.
Unpredictable outcomes are not limited to regenerative medicine. Yet they are more pronounced in our industry due to a lack of clinical evidence that overwhelmingly supports PRP therapy.
2. Varying PRP Formulations
Next is the wide variety of PRP formulations. There are no standards for platelet concentration, for example. This could have a direct impact on whether or not a procedure works for a particular patient. Moreover, formulations may need to be different based on the condition being treated. Some conditions might require higher platelet concentrations while others would be more effective with lower concentrations.
3. Varying PRP Applications
Finally are the many different ways in which clinicians apply PRP therapy. Some doctors utilize imaging equipment to help them figure out the best injection sites. Others do not. Some combine PRP injections with a recommendation for physical therapy. Again, others do not.
Such varying applications can produce a variety of results. As such, a lack of standardization makes it difficult to say just how well PRP therapy will help a patient.
Collecting and Analyzing Data
It would seem that the best way to overcome these three challenges is to collect patient data and analyze it. In the same way clinical studies compare data points across numerous subjects in order to understand the effects of a given procedure, the regenerative medicine industry can begin documenting procedures and then analyzing the data to come up with some standards.
Data is an amazing thing. It is so useful that companies in just about every sector have embraced it. Our industry can do so as well. If doctors, clinics, and patients were all willing to get on board with detailed documentation, all of the data generated could be analyzed and compared. It could give us a real understanding of the true potential of PRP therapy. Data can overcome the three challenges and help us realize maximum benefit from not only PRP, but stem cell therapy as well.