A National Agenda On Personalized Medicine

Last week’s State of the Union address included an important announcement: the Obama administration intends to re-focus its efforts to accelerate innovation in “precision” or personalized medicine. Last week, the White House gave more detail about what that focus would look like – the official press release includes information on a $215 billion investment that includes: $130 million to NIH for development of a voluntary national research cohort of a million or more volunteers to propel our understanding of health and disease and set the foundation for a new way of doing research through engaged participants and open, responsible...

A New Journey To The Center

Most people remember Jules Verne’s best-selling science fiction novel, and the films it inspired, about a journey to the center of the earth filled with “natural hazards.” As a society, we have embarked on an equally thrilling and far more science-based journey in which we seek to place the patient at the center of healthcare and our health care system. Personalized medicine can be seen as the perfect ‘vehicle’ to that patient-focused core of care, fueled by the specificity of molecular diagnostics and targeted therapeutics. So, on the 10th anniversary of the Personalized Medicine Conference, and the 13th...

We All Have a Role to Play in Turning the Tide Aga...

In recent years, the pace of scientific discovery and medical progress has transformed our approach to the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer. Today, new targeted therapies are being used to pinpoint specific cell mutations and pathways leading to cancer’s progression and to stop tumor growth with fewer side effects. And, innovative approaches to harness our body’s own defenses have led to the development of new cancer vaccines and immunotherapies that attack the disease. With nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States, there is no doubt that we have made great strides in our fight against...

Networks, Cities, and Data: The Future of Better H...

If you’re not convinced the future of healthcare has arrived, just wait a few days:  it should be coming to a mobile device or a big box store near you soon: Quantified-self software by which you can monitor every bodily function and have the data integrated into your medical record. Low-cost Genomic profiling to identify your disease risks. Biomarker-directed personalized drugs that are optimally efficacious for your particular molecular sub-group of disease. Self-help health maintenance tools to integrate all that bodily function monitoring and your genomics profile with the right drugs and food/exercise choices to slow or prevent...

2013: A Big Year for Genomics, Genetic Testing and...

2013 was a banner year for raising the visibility of genetic testing. The news varied. It can be argued, however, that all parties (patients, clinicians, industry and researchers) have benefited from the increased coverage. This brief snapshot of the stories about genetic testing that made it into the headlines in 2013 suggests that we are at a critical point. Patient demand, industry innovation and policies are converging. Consumers seem to embrace the technology and the opportunity to take action with the information they may receive. The law is carefully considering how to treat genetic information and the regulatory agencies continue to...

The Prognosis for Participatory Care

As “The Innovator’s Partner,” we embrace new ideas and the big impact they can have in addressing disease and improving health. We are passionately enthusiastic about the role we and our clients can play in enhancing each patient’s journey, care, and outcomes. But what do health care providers—in whose hands the fate of many of these new tools and treatments rest—think about all this innovation? Do they get as excited as we do? For some, the answer appears to be, “Not so much.” Significant numbers of docs are in fact reluctant to embrace new diagnostic methods and tools, slow to adopt electronic health...