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.”

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