Digital Salutem
03 May 2016

Is Precision Medicine the future of Healthcare?

By João Bocas

I am sure that most of you have came across the term ” precision medicine “. For those readers that are not familiarised with the healthcare industry I’ll try to give you some background context.

When referring to precision medicine, we are entering an new territory. This is a new approach that aims to improve efficiencies in treating diseases and preventing them from occurring.

Here’s a definition of precision medicine in more detail as well as the White House Initiative in US

Personally, I am particularly interested in exploring the intersection of biological sciences ( life sciences ) and technology, which represents a unique opportunity to innovate at speed.

When I think about medicine… brain automatically associates that with medical operations and interventions. Therefore I believe that a re-shape in thinking is necessary, pretty much as this modern approach needs a shaping up from all the stakeholders. Even the healthcare professionals and medical experts are still not quite clear how it will work in essence.

As we are all learning about precision medicine, one think is certain : advances in research , innovation , technology and biomedicine are moving at an incredible fast pace. It feels that we “need” to slow innovation down to have time to reflect , analyse processes and make clear thought decisions.


Healthcare is the most complicated industry to effectively innovate in with timely impact interventions. In other industries you may just blend technology with a particular problem then create a digital solution and that’s it…..well is not that simple when it comes to precision medicine and healthcare.

We all know that the main major health threats to humanity are preventable. I am talking about long term chronic conditions such as Diabetes, Heart Diseases, COPD ( Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ) , Obesity and arguably even Cancers.

The complexity of healthcare delivery systems can reverse the innovation speed and adoption rates of new technologies is not always a straight forward task.

After all we are human beings ( complex beings ), combined with a highly complex industry ( healthcare ). I don’t think we are going to get a simple answer to our challenges right away. We’ve been talking about prevention for decades, but have we considered : health education, personalised patient interventions ( patient lead ) , demystification of preconceived barriers ( including technology ) and other relevant elements ? This is not a simple solving problem, we are facing cuts in public health and many other vitals services on a global scale. We can’t move back in time now ? to reflect…  to invest… educate….to learn and act.

In conclusion, advances in fields such as biomedical science, data capture, predictive data analytics and wearable technologies to monitor patients will support precision medicine and enable better outcomes.

I took part in a panel discussion on Precision Medicine with other Thought Leaders. The session is entitled “Let’s get personal – Precision Medicine for Precise Patients ”  Check VentureFest East – Innovation Event and discover more information about Precision Medicine.

More articles:

–  The Power of Big Data in Healthcare

–  HIMSS and Digital Salutem Partnership

This article is for you, just for signing up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

FireShot Capture 001

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Take a look at what we can do for you Our Services