Cooperating for better care.

News & Views

From precision medicine to ‘precision health’

Share this:


Lloyd Minor,  M.D., the dean of the Stanford Medical School, urges healthcare leaders to go beyond precision medicine.

He writes in Forbes: “By focusing on health and wellness, we can also have a meaningful impact in reducing healthcare costs. At Stanford, we call this idea ‘precision health,” where we focus on helping individuals thrive based on all the factors that are unique to their lives, from their genetics to their environment.

“Bringing the promise of precision health to patients will require a fundamental shift in our view of medicine, one which combines two seemingly different approaches – high tech and high touch.”

“{IN}  the past few years, the amount of available data about healthcare has exploded, to the point where it can be overwhelming.

“To take full advantage of these breakthroughs, doctors must add a working knowledge of data science to the natural sciences that have traditionally been the focus of our professional training. Doctors must increasingly be data specialists (and perhaps genomic specialists) and assess large pools of information through the lens of the individual patient.”

“However, understanding data is not enough. With the advent of digital health devices and online medical Web sites, more than ever, people have become active managers of their own health and demand a more consumer-friendly healthcare experience.

“To be truly effective in building a culture of health and disease prevention, physicians … need to recognize that through the intimate bonds we form with our patients when we perform hands-on examinations and listen to their concerns with empathy, we enact a time-honored ritual and gain a different type of critical information than what we can garner from lab tests and radiological scans. This kind of rich, nuanced data –what is important to our patients, what they fear, how their symptoms manifest and how they feel – must also factor into a truly holistic approach to healthcare.”

Contact Info

(617) 230-4965

Wellesley, Mass