Major recent advances in science and technology now enable new kinds of measurements that can characterize an individual’s genes, environment, and behaviors in ways not previously possible. For example, high-throughput genomic analysis and mobile technology can provide large volumes of information that is potentially relevant to prediction of disease and, more importantly, prediction of response to interventions that might improve health. Using this information to precisely target such interventions to persons who are most likely to benefit and least likely to experience adverse effects (ie, precision medicine) could yield major advances in health care (if affordable and scalable to populations) and have a large effect on population health and even health disparities. The National Institutes of Health1 is making major investments to support this vision.
Pletcher MJ, McCulloch CE. The Challenges of Generating Evidence to Support Precision Medicine. JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 13, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9138