Healthcare Tech Official
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August 20, 2017

Healthcare Tech Terms: What is Precision Medicine? A Definition

Precision Medicine Definition

What is Precision Medicine?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), precision medicine is:

"an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person." 

Precision Medicine is the process of personalizing and honing in treatments to specific circumstances or patients. The underlying concept of precision medicine is that in which health care is individually tailored on the basis of a person's genes, lifestyle and environment.

Precision Medicine serves to be in direct contrast to the previously widely-accepted "one-size-fits-all" approach, in which disease treatment and prevention strategies are developed for the average person, with less consideration for the differences between individuals.

Precision medicine and cancer treatmentJust one example of Precision Medicine, image credit Cancer.gov

Precision Medicine Today

Although the term Precision Medicine is a relative newcome to Healthcare, the actual nature of providing personalized treatment in line with specific requirements is not. A simple example of this can be seen, in both blood transfusions and organ donations - generalised treatment is not possible, and all donations must be matched according to bloody type.

However, this type of medicine is still not widely used - many hope that the increase in Big Data in health and other forms of tech that lower costs and increase accessibility will allow more and more patients to receive personalized, valuable treatment.

What is the difference between precision medicine and personalized medicine? What about pharmacogenomics?


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