Embracing the Promise and Challenges of Precision Medicine

The precision medicine concept promises to revolutionize patient care and treatment with a more proactive and predictive approach to medicine and with an emphasis on disease prevention rather than on treatment of symptoms.

Most healthcare providers believe precision medicine is important to the health and well-being of patients, yet many are uncertain about how to integrate it into their organizations, according to the recent HIMSS Analytics survey “Future Proofing Healthcare: Precision Medicine”, sponsored by Intel. The report collects responses of business leaders, IT leaders, and IT professionals revealing the current and future importance of precision medicine to healthcare providers.

The survey defined precision medicine as “medical care designed to optimize efficiency or therapeutic benefit for particular groups of patients, which integrates all data available on an individual patient, incorporating genetics, environment and lifestyle; enabling a multi-factorial approach to the tailoring of treatment to the individual.”

Many issues arise while dealing with this concept but, above all, the following considerations will be crucial:

  • Adequate technology infrastructure is fundamental.

  • Current staffing, infrastructure and in-house expertise continue to be barriers to adoption.

  • The goal of precision medicine for many providers is to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment.