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Genomics and Precision Health
May 9, 2017

Introducing “Genomics and Precision Health”

Author Affiliations
  • 1Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency, Augusta, Maine
  • 2Associate Editor, JAMA
JAMA. 2017;317(18):1842-1843. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.20625

The US health care system has seen significant changes over the last decade resulting from diverse factors including the widespread adoption of electronic health records, the opioid crisis, and the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. Such changes have buffeted the day-to-day work of physicians and other health care practitioners, leaving many finding it challenging to address demands placed on them. Looking forward in 2017, it seems that the future will hold more turbulence.1 In this milieu, it is easily possible to overlook that medicine has been undergoing a much more gradual and deeper transformation. This shift is inexorably moving medicine from an endeavor in which care for individual patients is driven by trial and error informed by studies designed to measure population outcomes to one in which care is selected based on a deep understanding of health and disease attributes unique to each individual. Accelerated by the completion of the Human Genome Project, this transformation has been variably called genomic medicine, genomic health care, personalized medicine, precision medicine, and precision health. The extent to which it ultimately alters medicine remains unclear.2,3