Precision Medicine Initiative a 'turning point' for healthcare, Eric Topol says

The Precision Medicine Initiative is “unprecedented” and represents “a turning point in medicine,” according to cardiologist Eric Topol.

In a recent interview with STAT, Topol, who serves as director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), says the data will help to improve prevention and treatment efforts on a much more personalized level. He calls current testing “a profound waste” that proliferates “one-size-fits-all” efforts.

“This is a new day,” Topol says. “This is a reset, a reboot of what we thought about medicine, and it’s all predicated on what we know about individual people.”

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For instance, he says, biosensors will help to determine “truly normal blood pressure,” with measures taken in real-world settings such as in traffic.

The Scripps Research Institute, where Topol serves as a professor of genomics, earlier this month was awarded a National Institutes of Health grant for its role in the Precision Medicine Initiative that totals close to $120 million over five years. The grant, according to an announcement, will support a Participant Technologies Center through STSI that will be key to enrollment efforts in the program.

NIH grants for the program also will go toward the creation of a network of healthcare provider organizations operated by the Veterans Affairs Department that will help to get veterans enrolled in the program; a Data and Research Support Center to be developed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Broad Institute in Massachusetts and California-based Verily Life; and a pilot through the Health Resources Services Administration to determine infrastructure needs at community health centers to enroll patients.

To learn more:
- read STAT’s full interview