Delivering Precision Medicine: How Data Drives Individualized Healthcare

Article Summary

Delivering precision medicine requires healthcare to transition from a one-size-fits-all methodology to an individualized approach. This means healthcare professionals tailor treatment and prevention strategies according to each patient’s personal characteristics—their genomic makeup, environment, and lifestyle. To realize these precision care goals, researchers and clinicians must leverage vast and varied amounts of real-world data.

Data access and interoperability barriers have often impeded the precision medicine transformation. However, current healthcare industry trends increase opportunities for researchers and clinicians to more comprehensively understand medical conditions and the patients in their care. These insights establish the foundation for precision medicine and support actionable pathways towards more efficient development of targeted treatments.

Delivering precision medicine

The Precision Medicine Initiative calls for healthcare’s transition from a one-size-fits-all methodology to an individualized approach. Under the proposal, medical professionals must tailor treatment and prevention strategies based on each patient’s genomic makeup, environment, and lifestyle. Delivering precision medicine demands that researchers and clinicians have access to vast and varied amounts of real-world data (RWD) and the technology to make that data widely accessible and usable.

Data access and interoperability barriers have often impeded the precision medicine transformation. However, current healthcare industry trends are increasing opportunities for researchers and clinicians to comprehensively understand medical conditions and the patients in their care. As these advances create a gateway for individualized care, they’re also supporting actionable ways for the life sciences industry to develop drugs more efficiently and with more targeted outcomes.

Precision Medicine from Its Foundation to Real-World Benefits

As healthcare builds a comprehensive data ecosystem and progresses towards precision medicine, the industry is making significant advancements in the quality of care, from a more efficient and accurate drug development process to therapies better targeted at individual patients and diagnoses.

Healthcare Innovation Forms an Actionable Foundation

Ongoing developments in healthcare have formed an actionable foundation for precision medicine. As a result, researchers and clinicians are more likely to obtain the quality and breadth of health data, biological information, and technical sophistication needed to overcome the financial, data management, and interoperability barriers to precision medicine. This exacting approach to care will help clinicians identify the most appropriate, cost-effective treatments and even spot previously undetected causes of disease.

The following healthcare trends make possible the leap from one-size-fits-all medicine to an individualized, precision approach:

  • Big data analytics and machine learning that advanced healthcare decision support
  • Reimbursement methods that incentivize health systems to keep patients well.
  • Emerging tools that enable more data and interoperability.

Feeding the Drug Development Pipeline

With industry trends supporting the precision medicine journey, healthcare is leveraging more comprehensive patient data to inform its drug development process. Earlier approaches to creating new drugs relied on claims data as the only available source of knowledge. This method couldn’t determine how a new drug would affect broader patient populations.

Like the path to precision medicine, improved drug development relies on patient-centric data to reflect individual experiences. This insight helps researchers bring drugs to market more efficiently and safely. More personalized insight informs the process from discovery, new indications, clinical development, trial design, and measuring outcomes (e.g., side effects) to identifying who is using an approved drug and why and determining value-effectiveness for drug reimbursement.

Right Drug, Right Patient, Right Time

The pivotal promise of precision medicine is highly individualized therapy. With more in-depth insight into patients and their health, clinicians, academics, and pharma and biotech researchers and regulators aim to deliver the right drug for the right patient at the right time.

Developing these personalized therapies requires real-world clinical and molecular data.

The biggest challenge in meeting precision medicine goals and optimally leveraging targeted therapy pertains to data—establishing the ability to collect and share data for patient care, research, drug development, and reimbursement.

A lack of combined molecular and clinical data creates. Solutions that make data accessible and usable (e.g., the Health Catalyst Data Operating System (DOS™) and a core data management system (e.g., Molecular and Clinical DOS Marts™) can help the healthcare community advance precision medicine goals of highly individualized treatment.

From the Ground Up, Delivering Precision Medicine Is a Data-Driven Journey

The Precision Medicine Initiative’s mission statement establishes the following goal: “to enable a new era of medicine through research, technology, and policies that empower patients, researchers, and providers to work together toward development of individualized care.” With more open and agile data access and interoperability and an industry committed to better healthcare (e.g., incentives for healthy patients), precision medicine transformation is taking shape through better drug development and more targeted therapies. Similar, progressive use of and support for RWD will continue to shepherd precision medicine efforts towards the initiative’s goals.

Additional Reading

Would you like to learn more about this topic? Here are some articles we suggest:

  1. Creating a Data-Driven Research Ecosystem with Patients at the Center
  2. Healthcare Data: Creating a Learning Healthcare Ecosystem
  3. A New Era of Personalized Medicine: The Power of Analytics and AI
  4. Harnessing the Power of Healthcare Data: Are We There Yet?
  5. Extended Real-World Data: The Life Science Industry’s Number One Asset

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