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What We’re Reading: “We Don’t Just Need Precision Medicine, We Need Precision Health” from Forbes

On the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s $215 million investment in Precision Medicine – therapies and treatments tailored to individual patients – the dean of Stanford Medicine, Lloyd Minor, MD, makes a compelling case for the logical next step, Precision Health.  As he writes in Forbes, Precision Health would combine ‘high tech’ and ‘high touch’ to actually help prevent diseases before they occur, and make a meaningful impact in decreasing healthcare costs.

With more and more healthcare data available, Dr. Minor stresses that physicians need to understand and assess this information in a way that could appeal to each patient. However, he wisely points out that data presentation alone will not inspire a culture of healthy living and disease prevention; only the intimate physician-patient bond can lead to a truly holistic healthcare experience. As concierge physicians will attest, there is no substitute for the personal, powerful bond formed with a patient during a hands-on examination, or an empathetic conversation.

Dr. Minor reports that efforts to unite technology and medical science for preventive care are well underway. Medical schools are tapping experts in Silicon Valley to fuel new developments in medical training and practice, and Stanford is collaborating with Google Life Sciences to collect genetic and molecular information that will provide a complete picture of a healthy human being.

We look forward to seeing the progress of Precision Health, and its emphasis on prevention and helping patients live healthier lives…the cornerstones of concierge medicine. As Dr. Minor writes: “[Because] when it comes to health, we must think as big as we can – not just about treating disease, but about making and keeping people healthy.”