Precision Medicine Initiative Moves Forward | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Precision Medicine Initiative Moves Forward

September 18, 2015
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

The National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) issued recommendations on Sept. 17 laying out a blueprint for the Obama Administration’s precision medicine initiative (PMI), including the framework for building a large-scale, national research cohort of 1 million or more Americans.

President Barack Obama announced the PMI back in January and in March, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., formed the PMI Working Group of the ACD to develop a plan for creating and managing the PMI Cohort Program (PMI-CP). The initiative’s aim is to pioneer a new model of patient-powered research to accelerate biomedical discoveries and provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients.

The report drafted by the working group makes numerous recommendations on cohort assembly, participant engagement, data, biological specimens, policy and governance. The recommendations are based on a set of high-value scientific opportunities that were identified by the working group following extensive stakeholder engagement, including four public workshops and two requests for information, according to an NIH announcement.

In a statement on its website, the NIH says it plans to move quickly to build the infrastructure so that participants can begin enrolling in the cohort in 2016, with a goal of enrolling at least 1 million participants in three to four years.

“We have an incredible opportunity to advance research and make new medical breakthroughs through precision medicine, which tailors disease prevention and treatment to individuals based on genetics, environment and lifestyle,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement.

The working group's report also proposes a strategy to allow any person living in the United States to voluntarily enroll in the study directly or through participating healthcare provider organizations. Participants would volunteer to share core data including their electronic health records, health survey information and mobile health data on lifestyle habits and environmental exposures.

“Many factors have converged to make now the right time to begin this ambitious project,” Dr. Collins said. “Americans are engaging in improving their health and participating in health research more than ever before, electronic health records have been widely adopted, genomic analysis costs have dropped significantly, data science has become increasingly sophisticated and health technologies have become mobile. We have to seize this moment to invest in these promising scientific opportunities to help Americans live healthier lives.”

 

Topics

News

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.