IT helps drive $232B personalized medicine market

By Bernie Monegain
09:28 AM

Information technology and telemedicine are helping to boost the market for personalized medicine in the United States and also benefiting from it.

The $232 billion market is projected to grow 11 percent annually, according to a report published Tuesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

PricewaterhouseCoopers projects that the market for a more personalized approach to health and wellness will grow to as much as $452 billion by 2015. Its estimates are based on a broad view of the market opportunity beyond drugs and devices, including demand for high-tech storage and data-sharing as well as low-tech products and services aimed at consumers' heightened awareness of their own health risks.

"The Science of Personalized Medicine: Translating the Promise into Practice" notes that personalized medicine, which targets individualized treatment and care based on personal and genetic variation, is creating a booming market, but is a disruptive innovation that will create both opportunities and challenges for traditional healthcare and emerging market participants.

According to the report:

  • The core diagnostic and therapeutic segment of the market – made up primarily of pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies – is estimated at $24 billion and expected to grow by 10 percent annually, reaching $42 billion by 2015.
  • The personalized medical care portion of the market – including telemedicine, health information technology and disease management services offered by traditional health and technology companies – is estimated at $4 billion to $12 billion and could grow to more than $100 billion by 2015 if telemedicine takes off.
  • The related nutrition and wellness market – including retail, complementary and alternative medicines offered by consumer products, food and beverage, leisure and retail companies – is estimated at $196 billion and projected to grow 7 percent annually to more than $290 billion by 2015.

The promise of personalized medicine is predicated on advances in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, completion of the human genome map and development of targeted diagnostics and therapeutics. Genomic testing enables physicians to identify an individual's susceptibility to disease, predict how a given patient will respond to a particular drug, eliminate unnecessary treatments, reduce adverse reactions to drugs, increase the efficacy of treatments and, ultimately, improve health outcomes.

"Medical science and technological advancement have converged with the growing emphasis on health, wellness and prevention sweeping the country to push personalized medicine to a tipping point," said David M. Levy, MD, global healthcare leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers. "We are now seeing a blurring of the lines between traditional healthcare offerings and consumer-oriented wellness products and services. The market potential is enormous for any company that learns to leverage the science, target individuals and develop products and services that promote health."

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