From precision medicine to precision health

Precision health is the delivery of customer and personalised solutions to people to encourage them to better manage their health, by addressing potential behavioral risk factors, like lack of exercise, and also better managing some predisposing other factors that can cause disease, like genetic predisposition.

There are various drivers encouraging change and these are starting to demonstrably exert their influence as well as start to act synergistically.

These changes comprise:

By combining all these parameters on each individual, a very accurate picture thus emerges on the likelihood of an individual developing discreet diseases and bespoke solutions can be developed to assist the person in better managing their health and care.

Data consent in the new frontier

The fact that all this is possible does not necessarily mean that these parameters will be collected within a personalised solution as one would need a secure location for all of this data to be nested within and a location where the use of data, particularly its secondary use could be governed safely and securely. No doubt technological solutions exist to make this happen, but that is merely part of the picture. What is potentially even more complex is the issue of consent around the use of this data. 

The consent of the person is clearly an essential pre-requisite to deploying the emerging solutions developing the whole area of assisting the person better manage their health and care in the area of health and wellness.  It is becoming clearer that the well worn solutions of blanket consent may well not necessarily fulfil the expectations of people in allowing their data to be used and the time has come for us to move to a more dynamic interaction with people which would include not only the use of gamification to assist in sustaining engagement but also a more dynamic approach to obtaining consent. This is likely to be the place where innovative companies will succeed and the less well versed in the interface of their technologies with people will be thwarted in achieving rapid deployment.

The world of technology and its successful utilisation is now one which not only is looking to the use of the scientific and technological breakthrough – of which there are many, but also of the slicker deployments of technology which engage and sustain relationships with people and develop trusting relationships. This is the real new frontier.  

This article was first published in the latest edition of HIMSS Insights, Data Meets Privacy. Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Insights are HIMSS Media publications.

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