Beyond next-generation gene sequencing and developing diagnostic tools and targeted therapies, theoverall approach to clinical care has to be re-envisioned to fulfill the promise of precision medicine. Care must move from sporadic treatment of episodic disease (a reactive mode) to predicting disease and then acting to prevent and mitigate it (a proactive mode).

“I suggest that a broad based blue ribbon taskforce be created to quantify the needs for a growing precision medicine workforce. Based on the taskforce’s recommendations, the changes needed in educational curricula as well as new training pathways could be determined. A comprehensive needs assessment for the workforce underlying the advancement of precision medicine is a vital, given the rapid expansion of the field and its potential to improve health care delivery.”

Ralph Snyderman, MD is Chancellor Emeritus, Duke University and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine.

In order to reach and translate the goals of large scale initiatives such as the All of UsResearch Program, the current health care delivery system must be re-designed for health promotion, comprehensive disease prevention, and efficient adoption of precision medicine capabilities. This approach requires abandoning the reactive “find-it-and-fix-it model” of the current health care system and instead focusing on preventing and mitigating the complex chronic diseases that today account for about 80% of health care expenses.

Quantify and prevent diseases
Since diseases are most often triggered by both genetics and environmental factors, the risk for disease should be quantifiable and preventable with emerging, innovative tools. And once the disease and its underlying molecular and cellular mechanism is identified the disease should ultimately be treatable with precision.
A prospective precision health care model aims to reorient front-line care so that…

  • each individual’s health care risks are identified and stratified early,
  • healthful behavior is being promoted, and
  • disease is either prevented or treated with precision.

A precision health care model such as this uses….

  • optimal clinical judgment,
  • best available risk-assessment tools,
  • patient engagement,
  • disease-tracking biomarkers,
  • precision diagnostics,
  • targeted therapies and
  • customization of care for the individual patient in the form of personalized health planning (PHP).

Academic health institutions play a broad role in the introduction and utilization of precision medicine, ranging from enabling research to creating the clinical teams and processes involved in care, establishing appropriate comprehensive data bases, and analyzing the clinical data. Each of these functions requires well-trained individuals. By academic health centers becoming operational in all these areas, the optimal nature and structure of the workforce to adopt and advance precision medicine will be defined.

A main challenge for health care is the effective clinical adoption of precision medicine capabilities to improve outcomes. Academic health institutions are vital for the broad implementation of precision medicine by:

  • Performing research enabling new technologies
  • Validating new technologies
  • Creating capabilities to enhance patient engagement
  • Adopting precision medicine technologies into clinical practice and developing standards of care
  • Collecting data that can be curated and analyzed to continue to refine the best clinical utilization of emerging technologies
  • Training the workforce needed for precision medicine
  • Perfectly aligning the core missions of academic health institutions with the needs for the field of precision medicine while recognizing and embracing existing and emerging opportunities

Dr. Snyderman is widely recognized for his contributions to the development of more rational, effective and compassionate models of health care, and as such, has led Duke Medical Center into an internationally recognized, leading institution of academic medicine. He was among the first to envision and articulate the need to move the current focus of health care from the treatment of disease-events to personalized, predictive, preventive, and participatory care that focuses on the patient. We are excited to have Dr. Snyderman chair the “Precision Medicine Workforce” Panel this September 24-25 at PMWC 2018 Duke joined by Dr. Jeffrey Balser (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), Dr. Catherine Lucey (UCSF), and Dr. Suanne Haga (Duke University School of Medicine).

“Making genomic information available to clinicians preemptively, “available the moment I need it,” rather than exclusively through reactive testing, has the potential to transform clinical decision support.”

Dr. Jeffrey Balser is President and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will share his perspectives on the emerging needs of the health workforce in order to implement precision medicine at scale in large health systems. Read the full interview.

Health professions education is where high quality health care begins. Precision Medicine will accelerate our collective ability to improve the health of our patients and communities. Medical Education must be redesigned now to prepare today’s physicians for transformational changes in the ways we engage with patients and prevent, diagnose and treat disease.”

Dr. Catherine Lucey, UCSF will focus on Preparing Physicians for the Precision Medicine Era. Read the full interview.

Dr. Susanne Haga, Associate Professor at Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine and the Center for Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine. Her research interests focus on issues affecting the translation of genomics to clinical practice, particularly in the field of pharmacogenetic testing, and patient and provider education.

Seize this unique opportunity to join this critical discussion by registering now!

Interview with Andrew Carroll of Google AI

Q: Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have sent vast waves across healthcare, even fueling an active discussion of whether AI doctors will eventually replace human physicians in the future. Do you believe that human physicians will be replaced by machines in the foreseeable future? What are your thoughts?

A: I believe that applying AI technologies in healthcare will make physicians more valuable, and will make their careers more enjoyable and sustainable.

Read More

Interview with L. Staton Noel III of Panaceutics

Q: What need is Panaceutics addressing?

A: One of the key barriers to making precision/personalized wellness and healthcare products is the contradictory goal of manufacturing individualized products on a large scale. Meeting demand for personalized products can be expensive and logistically challenging.

Read More

Interview with Joe Zhang of Burning Rock Dx

Q: Genomic medicine is entering more hospitals and bringing with it non-invasive technology that can be used to better target and treat diseases. What are some key milestones that contributed to this trend?

A: The milestones in my mind include the first FDA clearance of Next Gen Sequencing instrument, MiSeqDx in 2013, this opened a new door for clinical utilization of parallel gene alteration detection in clinical setting.

Read More

Why are Scientists So Upset About The First CRISPR Babies?

The use of new technologies can provide breakthrough benefits for both patients and providers. However, with increased sharing comes increased risks to the security and privacy of patient data. Currently data is being accumulated across many organizations and initiatives but is often either siloed or simply not accessible. Researchers suggest that patient education tactics can help quell security concerns during patient data sharing.

Read More

Interview with Kara Davis of Stanford

Q: The Nobel Price in Medicine was awarded recently to James Allison and Tasuku for their work on unleashing the body’s immune system to attack cancer, a breakthrough that has led to an entirely new class of drugs and brought lasting remissions to many patients who had run out of options. The Nobel committee hailed their accomplishments as establishing “an entirely new principle for cancer therapy.” What is your first-hand experience the impact that those new drugs had on patients?

A: These immune checkpoint inhibitors have been an incredible demonstration of the ability of the immune system to control and in some cases.

Read More

Interview with Shannon J. McCall of Duke University

Q: Genomic medicine is entering more hospitals and bringing with it non-invasive technology that can be used to better target and treat diseases. What are some key milestones that contributed to this trend?

A: After several years of the promise of precision medicine and abundant clinical trial work, the recent FDA approval of solid-tumor-agnostic therapies dependent on molecular biomarkers has catapulted genomic/precision medicine into the standard-of-care for late stage cancer.

Read More

Interview with Tao Chen of Paragon Genomics, Inc.

Q: Once sequencing has been validated as a clinical solution via trusted workflows, and coinciding with the technological developments driving costs lower, we can expect accelerated human genome profiling for clinical Dx. How soon, do you think, will we see accelerated growth and what can we expect?

A: For whole genome sequencing to be a reliable clinical tool, it will largely depend on the cost of sequencing the genome and our ability to interpret the data.

Read More

Call for Action: The Time is Now for Patient Data Interoperability

The use of new technologies can provide breakthrough benefits for both patients and providers. However, with increased sharing comes increased risks to the security and privacy of patient data. Currently data is being accumulated across many organizations and initiatives but is often either siloed or simply not accessible. Researchers suggest that patient education tactics can help quell security concerns during patient data sharing.

Read More

Interview with Andrew Magis of Arivale

Q: Once sequencing has been validated as a clinical solution via trusted workflows, and coinciding with the technological developments driving costs lower, we can expect accelerated human genome profiling. How soon, do you think, will we see what kind of accelerated growth?

A: I think the acceleration has already begun. Large sequencing projects such as NHLBI Trans-omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) and NIH All of Us are sequencing 150,000 and 1 million individuals, respectively.

Read More

Interview with Emily Leproust of Twist Bioscience

Q: NGS is enhancing patient care through improved diagnostic sensitivity and more precise therapeutic targeting. Prominent examples include cystic fibrosis and cancer. What other clinical areas NGS will most likely to change the standard-of-care in the near future?

A: Preventative medicine – using genetic data to identify traits that have the potential to cause harm in the future.

Read More

Interview with Michael Phelps of UCLA

Q: You invented the PET scanner that changed the lives of millions of patients with cancer, brain and heart diseases. What are the potential benefits to patients of combining PET with radio-ablation technologies?

A: PET provides imaging assays of the biology of disease in many diseases today.

Read More

Interview with Daniela Ushizima of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Q: Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have sent vast waves across healthcare, even fueling an active discussion of whether AI doctors will eventually replace human physicians in the future. Do you believe that human physicians will be replaced by machines in the foreseeable future? What are your thoughts?

A: I really hope that human physicians will not be replaced by machines in the foreseeable future.

Read More

Interview with Amy Compton-Phillips of Providence St. Joseph Health

Q: Genomic medicine is entering more hospitals and bringing with it non-invasive technology that can be used to better target and treat diseases. What are some key milestones that contributed to this trend? What technological advancements are driving this change?

A: Genomic medicine is poised to move quickly from the research realm into integration with healthcare delivery, but there is always a time lapse between technology advances and what we do with those advances.

Read More

Interview with James Taylor of Precision NanoSystems

Q: There are various new, emerging technologies that bring us closer towards a cure for life-threatening disorders such as cancer, HIV, or Huntington’s disease. Prominent examples include the popular gene editing tool CRISPR or new and improved cell and gene therapies. By when can we expect these new technologies being part of routine clinical care?

A: Patients are already receiving treatment using novel gene and cell therapies.

Read More

Interview with Julie Eggington of Center for Genomic Interpretation

Q: Together with Robert Burton you founded the Center for Genomic Interpretation (CGI), a non-profit organization. Can you tell us more about CGI and the mission behind it?

A: CGI’s mission is to drive quality in clinical genetics and genomics. CGI works primarily with laboratories, health insurance payers, clinicians, and patients/consumers.

Read More
Johns Hopkins
University Of Michigan

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), in its 16th installment, will take place in the Santa Clara Convention Center (Silicon Valley) on January 20-23, 2019. The program will traverse innovative technologies, thriving initiatives, and clinical case studies that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest developments and advancements in precision medicine and cutting-edge new strategies and solutions that are changing how patients are treated.

Agenda highlights:

  • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
    • AI & Data Science Showcase
    • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
    • Clinical Dx Showcase
    • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
    • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
    • Digital Phenotyping
    • Diversity in Precision Medicine
    • Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Early Days of Life Sequencing
    • Emerging Technologies in PM
    • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
    • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
    • Gene Editing
    • Genomic Profiling Showcase
    • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
    • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
    • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Microbial Profiling Showcase
    • Microbiome
    • Neoantigens
    • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
    • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • Point-of Care Dx Platform
    • Precision Public Health
    • Rare Disease Diagnosis
    • Resilience
    • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
    • Wellness and Aging Showcase

Agenda highlights:

    • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
      • AI & Data Science Showcase
      • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
      • Clinical Dx Showcase
      • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
      • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
      • Digital Phenotyping
      • Diversity in Precision Medicine
      • Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Early Days of Life Sequencing
      • Emerging Technologies in PM
      • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
      • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
      • Gene Editing / CRISPR
      • Genomic Profiling Showcase
      • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
      • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
      • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Microbial Profiling Showcase
      • Microbiome
      • Neoantigens
      • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
      • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
      • Pharmacogenomics
      • Point-of Care Dx Platform
      • Precision Public Health
      • Rare Disease Diagnosis
      • Resilience
      • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
      • Wellness and Aging Showcase
  • Luminary and Pioneer Awards, honoring individuals who contributed, and continue to contribute, to the field of Precision Medicine
  • 2000+ multidisciplinary attendees, from across the entire spectrum of healthcare, representing different types of companies, technologies, and medical centers with leadership roles in precision medicine
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