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To Your Health: NLM update Transcript

Precision health's evolution: 07/17/2017

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Greetings from the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus.gov

Regards to all our listeners!

I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Here is what's new this week in To Your Health, a consumer health oriented podcast from NLM, that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.

The intense debate about reforming the U.S. health care delivery system overlooks the birth of precision health that is a foundational development which could transform medicine, suggests an editorial recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The associate editor of JAMA writes (and we quote): 'it is easily possible to overlook that medicine has been undergoing a much more gradual and deeper transformation. This shift is inexorably moving medicine from an endeavor in which care for individual patients is driven by trials informed by studies designed to measure population outcomes to one in which care is selected based on a deep understanding of health and disease attributes unique to each individual' (end of quote).

Greg Feero M.D. explains future medical care will couple evidence-based findings from trials with an in-depth understanding of a person's genetic characteristics, as well as his or her environmental exposures and behaviors to provide more personalized care, which is often referred to as 'precision medicine.'

However, Feero supports the term 'precision health,' which he believes describes a new generation of medical care and practice better than precision medicine. Feero argues (and we quote): 'health instead of medicine acknowledges that the former term is more encompassing than the traditional medical model of disease-based care' (end of quote).

Feero implies that unless how medicine and medical care are about to change are taken into consideration the current debate about health policy is incomplete in the U.S. and other nations.

Feero suggests the momentum for change is illustrated by the investment in precision health research and practices by: the National Institutes of Health, the U.K. National Health System; as well as efforts by major private health care systems (such as Kaiser Permanente); and related initiatives in Japan, China, and Iceland.

Feero adds JAMA's new series titled: JAMA Insights: Genetics and Precision Health, also is an attempt to help health care professionals (and eventually the public) understand the implications of the impending changes in health care.

Feero's editorial accompanies JAMA's first article in the new series. Feero explains future articles will explain (and we quote): 'the intended application of the (precision health) technology, how the technology works, important considerations regarding clinical use, costs, and current state of evidence supporting use of the technology for the stated application' (end of quote).

Feero hopes the range of articles in the new JAMA series will be accessible and enjoyable. Feero concludes the ensuing dialogue about precision health approaches as well as emerging evidence should contribute to better health for patients.

Given precision health's gateway capacity, we intend to follow the JAMA series carefully within 'To your health' in the future.

Meanwhile, one aspect of precision health is covered in MedlinePlus.gov's genes and gene therapy health topic page. For example, the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research provides a website with foundational information about gene therapy within the 'start here' section of MedlinePlus.gov's genes and gene therapy health topic page.

MedlinePlus.gov's genes and gene therapy health topic page additionally provides links to the latest pertinent journal research articles, which are available in the 'journal articles' section. Clinical trials that may be occurring in your area can be found in the 'clinical trials' section. You can sign up to receive updates about genes and gene therapy as they become available on MedlinePlus.gov.

To find MedlinePlus.gov's genes and gene therapy health topic page, please type 'gene therapy' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page, then, click on 'genes and gene therapy (National Library of Medicine).' Also, you can find helpful articles about precision health by typing 'precision medicine' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page.

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A disclaimer — the information presented in this program should not replace the medical advice of your physician. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease without first consulting with your physician or other health care provider.

It was nice to be with you. Please join us here next week and here's to your health!