The future of health care in America is one in which care will be personalized, predictive, preemptive, and participatory. Advances in basic research have positioned us to begin to harness new and increasingly affordable potential in medical and scientific technology. With clinical tools that are increasingly targeted to the individual, our health care system can give consumers and providers the means to make more informed, individualized, and effective choices. Emphasis on personalized health care could make health care safer and more effective for every patient, especially when we are able to use the power of genetic information and health information technology to better understand each patient’s needs and more precisely target therapies. This may mean that the same medical condition requires different treatment for men and women, or for older persons, or for others whose inherited traits may put them at particular risk.
Ongoing activities across HHS are working toward the long-term goals of personalized health care, and the convergence of these efforts will act as a powerful force to educate both the patient and the health care provider to improve clinical outcomes. Basic research at NIH is improving the foundational knowledge of diseases; FDA’s Critical Path Initiativeis improving the speed and safety of product development; and CDC will use population data to understand the genetic basis of diseases.
FDA has initiated the Critical Path to Personalized Medicine, a program designed to modernize and ensure more efficient development and clinical use of medical products. Under the Critical Path Initiative, HHS anticipates being able to dramatically increase the success rate in providing patients with innovative solutions that strike an optimal balance of high benefit and low risk because they are “personalized.” Once both the disease and the person are understood at the molecular level, physicians will be able to provide treatment options uniquely suited to a patient’s particular needs.
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