Providers say they're ready to progress to precision medicine

Healthcare leaders know it's the future, but there 'remains a lot of work to be done on the details of governance, culture, and information technology.'
By Jessica Davis
04:58 PM

Two-thirds of healthcare organizations believe personalized medicine is already having a measurable effect on patient outcomes, according to a new survey. Even more, 75 percent, say it will impact their organizations over the next two years.

Meanwhile, 92 percent of respondents said in five years their hospital will no longer be focused on traditional approaches to care, according to the survey, from Oxford Economics and SAP, which polled 120 healthcare professionals in Europe and North America.

"Personalized medicine offers better and more efficient ways to address a wide range of challenging medical issues," said Edward Cone, deputy director of thought leadership and technology practice lead at Oxford Economics, in a statement.

"At the same time," he said. "There remains a lot of work to be done on the details of governance, culture, and information technology."

Precision Medicine has seen a major push in the past few years, including the highly-visible $215 million Precision Medicine Initiative announced by the Obama administration last year. However, to be able to reap the benefits of this new paradigm, there are a few crucial challenges that need to be addressed.

[Also: Big data: Hardest part of population health and precision medicine?]

The right tools are imperative to supporting the shift into more personalized care. More than 70 percent of survey respondents said big data capture and storage were necessary to the success of personalized medicine, while another 65 percent called for an increase in the use of predictive analytics.

While barriers are prevalent, many healthcare leaders are beginning to change policies needed to support precision medicine: 64 percent have created new privacy policies, and 60 percent have increased security measures to safeguard patient data.

And almost half of the respondents are working toward changing institutional culture to reflect some of these privacy and security challenges.

"Personalized medicine leverages broad data sets including clinical data and genomics to move beyond the one-size-fits-all model into more individualized care," said David Delaney, MD, chief medical officer at SAP, in a statement.

"To reach the full potential of personalized medicine, however, industry stakeholders must take definitive steps to invest in advanced technologies and workforce talent," he added. They should also "adjust to new governance models and accept significant cultural shifts around data sharing and standards that foster easy interoperability of information."

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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