Since the White House launched its Precision Medicine initiative in January 2015 there has been a great deal of buzz about personalised or precision medicine and the future of healthcare 

The Reality of Precision Medicine

“Personalized medicine” is an older term and is gradually falling by the wayside as critics think that it denotes a focus on the individual whereas precision medicine is more focused on which treatments work best for patients with a specific genetic, lifestyle or environmental context.

There are very few, if any, EHR examples today that have the capability of integrating, in a systematic way, genetic data in a format that can be readily used for treatment and therapeutic practice.

This raises a number of important questions on when precision medicine can become reality in the clinic and what kind of strategic roadmap can be put into place to address the health IT issues?


Genomic Data and EHR data

Precision medicine requires combining phenotype data with genotype in order to prescribe a custom therapeutic regimen for the patient.

For many genetic conditions the clinician also needs a comprehensive medical history to fully understand the individual’s genetic makeup.

The gap between terminologies used in EHRs and those in genetic medicine is also problematic.