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We Don’t Just Need Precision Medicine, We Need Precision Health

We are coming up on one year since President Obama, in his State of the Union address, committed the nation to a $215 million investment in Precision Medicine. Since then, we have seen many breakthroughs in the development of therapies tailored to individual patients to treat the deadliest of diseases. Recently we heard the remarkable story of President Carter’s advanced cancer in remission from a new immunotherapy treatment. Developments like these give us all hope that we can beat the most difficult medical conditions facing humankind.

I share those high hopes, but I can’t help but think that we should aim even higher. If the amazing scientific advances of recent years can help us more effectively treat disease based on individual factors, shouldn’t we also put them to work by helping us keep people from getting sick in the first place?

The vision would be to go beyond Precision Medicine: instead of a frantic race to cure disease after the fact, we can increasingly focus on preventing disease before it strikes.