Introductions to single person, n-of-1 trials

A good article in MIT Sloan Review about patient innovation mentions the rise of n-of-1 trials:

Fortunately, very low-cost approaches exist and are being developed to make it practical for patients — both individuals and groups — to carry out high-quality, ethically appropriate trials. Many of them involve a trial design called “n of 1,” in which trials are of a single patient, or “aggregated n of 1” for multiple patients.

And another in Discover Magazine:

One way to correct for the gaps the gold standard leaves in our knowledge is the “N of 1” trial, where the number of participants (N) is one instead of hundreds or thousands of volunteers. That one person works with the doctor to test a narrow hypothesis — for example, “I think drinking milk will make me feel sick. Am I right?” There are still controls. Ideally, there are still placebos. But at the end, what you get is a patient-specific, individualized answer. It’s a process shown — by controlled clinical trials, no less — to improve patient outcomes. And scientists working with these studies today, including Saeed, are almost invariably enthusiastic about N of 1’s potential.

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