Precision healthcare comes under many names – personalized medicine, personalized healthcare, precision medicine, or even stratified medicine – and, often, these terms seem openly interchangeable. But if you consider that the names alone may be confusing to a layman, then the actual application and practice may be even that much more confusing.
According to Wikipedia, “precision medicine” is “a medical model that proposes the customization of healthcare, with medical decisions, practices, and/or products being tailored to the individual patient. [It] … separates patients into different groups – with medical decisions, practices, interventions, and/or products being tailored to the individual patient based on their predicted response or risk of disease.”
Regardless of the terminology, the end goal and objectives are the same – technology drives precision medicine, and this is driving a digital transformation in healthcare. Advancements in healthcare technology and genomic analysis are expediting research and insights, interactive exchanges across clinical and provider populations are promoting increased collaboration, and exchangeable medical records are providing a single comprehensive view into a patient’s health status and history. All are driven by technology, and all are focused on individualized and targeted healthcare for the best patient outcomes.
Further, the resulting comprehensive mobile record provides increased transparency to the patient, increasing the patient’s ability to exercise control over their own medical care. In the end, the balance of the current healthcare system may be inalterably shifted, or disrupted, if you prefer.
The patient is now increasingly in control
This reality, coupled with an existing healthcare environment where current cost models and support systems are failing, patient insurance premiums continue to rise, and insurance companies are increasingly focused on outcomes-based medicine, may push precision healthcare into the perfect storm. Not only will this storm transform the healthcare industry overall, but healthcare providers, especially, will find themselves in very different roles and relationships. Having the right tools to navigate through the storm will be the key to survival and the path to success.
Sound exciting? Learn more about how SAP is providing those tools, at DIA in Philadelphia, June 26-30 and at the SAP Personalized Medicine Forum in Bonn, Germany, July 6-7. And continue the conversation on Twitter @SAP_Healthcare.