OWHIC 2016: Why Precision Medicine Matters


Tom Main shares 10 ways precision medicine will transform the healthcare landscape.

Tom Main

5 min read

Precision medicine tailors healthcare to a person's genes, lifestyle, and environmetnal factors. It could lead to more effective treatments and system-wide savings. Here, in a post first published in September 2016, OWHIC Founder Tom Main shares 10 ways precision medicine will transform the landscape:

Transforming sick care models

1) Next generation sequencing will deliver more accurate and detailed diagnosis and new disease classifications. Diagnostics will be location independent and geneticist/data scientist will play a key role in treatment plan development – shifting the physician's role.

2) Precision medicine companies will partner with the pharmaceutical and biologic players to develop gene variant-based drugs for highly defined disease profiles. The therapeutics industry will shift to personalized medicines. 

3) Next generation sequencing will drive patient/gene-specific therapeutic matching moving the market to personalized medicine. Care teams will coach, advise, and support the patient journey.

4) Precision medicine discoveries will lead to a new classification of disease and a molecular (gene/biome) basis for treatment – our traditional organ-based disease framework is likely to be redefined, as we are already seeing with inflammatory diseases.

5) Precision medicine will drive a shift to predictive/preventive health models and lifestyle management plans including nutraceuticals/medical foods, screening, preventative medicines – greatly reducing the occurrence of advanced disease.

Shifting to personalized markets

6) Consumers will have powerful pharmacogenetics apps for personalized drug efficacy and dosing. Similarly, consumers will know what foods keep them healthy (and not) and will have elegant better-living-tools for grocery shopping and meal prep. 

7) Food industry will design and market personalized foods for gene-specific profiles and drive new levels of transparency to enable smart-shopping. 

8) Underwriting and insurance risk frameworks across health, life, and long-term care will be redefined – consumers and insurance companies will battle over the use and sharing of personalized genetic profiles.  

9) Precision medicine will drive new social/ethical frameworks to guide information sharing and data rights. Consumer protection laws will be revamped for the new era of personalized medicine. 

10) Privacy, security, and data protection will become a central industry issue as consumer adoption of molecular profiling and daily-living apps get to scale.

  • Tom Main