Experts: Personalized medicine, data accessibility will shape the next century in healthcare

Health IT experts believe the rise of genomics and personalized medicine will pave the way for healthcare’s transition to a more patient-centered approach to care over the next 100 years.

In particular, advancements in genetic testing will provide physicians with a more complete picture of each patient's risk for complex diseases, experts told Elsevier as part of the organization’s 100th anniversary celebration of its Medical Clinics journal.

Geeta Nayyar, M.D., chief healthcare and innovation officer at Femwell Group Health, expects precision medicine will become more ingrained in patient care. Although genetic testing and precision medicine is still in its infancy, researchers are making it a priority in 2017. 

“We are going to see precision medicine actually executed,” Nayyar told Elsevier. “We are going to know the DNA composition of patients—their genetic makeup and their families’ genetic makeup, and we will precisely be able to prescribe therapeutics, pharmacogenetics and treatment regimens that we know are going to be effective and personalized to that individual.”

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Meanwhile, other health IT leaders predicted that patients are going to be more actively involved in their care, in part because technology and data will provide more easily accessible information. Victoria Tiase, director of information strategy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, hopes technology will help patients “understand their state of wellness at all times.”

Last week, hospital leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, underscored the importance of patient data in the evolution of healthcare. Meanwhile, several major health systems have already begun integrating new patient data points to offer more customized care.