What is Precision Health?
Precision health holds great promise for the future of healthcare, asking how we can use knowledge of characteristics ranging from genomics to lifestyle to better inform prevention of disease, with the goal of prolonging healthy lifespan. The vision of Precision Health is to detect the root emergence of a disease, rather than merely respond once symptoms appear. With a more proactive approach to health monitoring, we stand a better chance of making an intervention to slow or prevent disease development, however, we also raise a wide range of societal challenges, from acceptability to data security.
Precision Health is going to be of primary importance to society in the decades ahead. We want people not only to enjoy long and productive lives, but also to feel healthy throughout their life. Medicine today remains largely reactive – we make clinical interventions in response to symptoms, often at a stage when a disease, such as cancer, has progressed significantly or where additional complications become inevitable, such as obesity as a result of reduced mobility from osteoarthritis.
Prof Andrew Flewitt (Precision Health Initiative Co-Chair)