Genome Mapping: Precision Medicine Initiative Pilots to Begin in March 2017

March 1, 2017 by The GTech Marketing Team

In 2015, the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) was introduced to the country as a way to "generate the scientific evidence needed to move the concept of precision medicine into clinical practice." The overarching idea is to personalize medicine by using large health data sets to more specifically categorize the inner workings of diseases and other health conditions in order to tailor treatment to the individual instead of using a singular, non-specific model. These health data sets will include information on genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices.

As reported by the Federal Times on February 22, 2017, Dr. Jon White, the acting chief of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) said that pilots for the genetic profiling portion of the PMI will begin in March 2017 by using data contained in health IT. As explained by Dr. White, the health IT infrastructure is helpful because it is a certified technology that has a specific way of managing and accessing data.

The current goal of the PMI is to gather health information from at least 1 million Americans. Inherent in the gathering of personal information is the need to secure the proper consent from individuals, a problem set that is being addressed through the use of Application Program Interfaces (API) based on the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards.

These efforts on the part of the ONC are "central to the PMI because [they] will ensure that the data can be shared securely so the initiative can disseminate across the research cohort."

In addition to the focus on genetics and genome mapping, data gathered from these pilots is also hoped to assist with the Cancer Moonshot as well as advancing pharmacogenomics, identifying new targets for treatment and prevention, and laying the scientific foundation for precision medicine for many diseases.