EHRs to Play Central Role in Precision Medicine Initiative

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | March 5, 2015

...According to Collins, scientific advances also are accelerating progress toward a new era of precision medicine. “Historically, doctors have been forced to base their recommendations for treatment on the expected response of the average patient,” he explained. “But recent advances, including the plummeting costs of DNA sequencing, now make possible a more precise approach to disease management and prevention that takes into account individual differences in genes, environments, and lifestyles.”

NIH is taking a lead role in the multi-agency Precision Medicine Initiative that also includes the Food and Drug Administration and Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. While NIH would receive $200 million under the initiative, FDA is earmarked to get $10 million to modernize the regulatory framework to aid the development and use of molecular diagnostics in precision medicine, while ONC would spend $5 million to help develop technology and define standards and certification criteria to enable the exchange of genomic data.

Collins told lawmakers that in the near-term the Precision Medicine Initiative will focus on cancer and efforts aimed at “understanding why cancers develop drug resistance using non-invasive methods to track therapeutic responses and exploring new treatments targeted to the genetic profiles of a wide range of adult and pediatric cancers.”...