Precision Medicine Requires Unlocking Data from EHRs, Other Sources

Greg Slabodkin | HealthData Management | May 6, 2015

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Health information technology is “foundational” to President Obama’s $215 million Precision Medicine Initiative aimed at treating the specific needs and characteristics of individual patients, according to Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for HIT.

“As a result of the HITECH Act and the hard work of providers, we are bringing healthcare into the digital age and we have reached a tipping point,” DeSalvo testified Tuesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “This strong foundation of health information technology makes it possible to bring to the bedside personalized treatment through precision medicine.”

According to DeSalvo, the data in electronic health records “married with advanced analytics, information from mobile health devices and other sources of data—including patient preferences—will provide the fulsome picture of a person’s health and needs.” She added that “this comprehensive data picture is necessary to identify the right prevention and treatment that is not only the most effective, but also most desired by the patient.”