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October 4, 2016

Will Precision Medicine Improve Population Health?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2016;316(13):1357-1358. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12260

Announcement of the precision medicine initiative has led to a variety of responses, ranging from enthusiastic expectations1 to explicit skepticism,2 about potential health benefits, limitations, and return on investment. This Viewpoint discusses whether precision medicine is unlikely or likely to improve population health, aiming to forge a consensus that bridges disparate perspectives on the issue. The potential of precision medicine to improve the health of individuals or small groups of individuals is not addressed here because it involves a different question with different metrics.