Precision Medicine Under the Microscope

We are on the beat to find and report just what is happening now in Precision Medicine. Look for this on going report each month as we find articles, commentary, interviews, and events of interest on Precision Medicine. Read more posts on Precision Medicine and follow the hashtag #PrecisionMedicine.

The US National Library of Medicine says “although the term ‘precision medicine’ is relatively new, the concept has been a part of healthcare for many years. For example, a person who needs a blood transfusion is not given blood from a randomly selected donor; instead, the donor’s blood type is matched to the recipient to reduce the risk of complications. Although examples can be found in several areas of medicine, the role of precision medicine in day-to-day healthcare is relatively limited. Researchers hope that this approach will expand to many areas of health and healthcare in coming years.”

What is the difference between precision medicine and personalized medicine? What about pharmacogenomics?
According to the NIH US National Libarary of Medicine, National Research Council, there is a lot of overlap between the terms. Learn more.

Precision Medicine in Action

Saving Beethoven
Scientists at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital have used a novel gene-editing approach to salvage the hearing of mice with genetic hearing loss and succeeded in doing so without any apparent off-target effects as a result of the treatment. The new approach, described online July 3 in Nature Medicine , involves an optimized, more precise version of the classic CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system that is better at recognizing the disease-causing mutation seen in Beethoven mice. The refined tool allowed scientists to selectively disable the defective copy of a hearing gene called Tmc1, while sparing the healthy copy.

Quanterix Announces Kevin Hrusovsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Founder of Powering Precision Health, as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2019 Award Winner in New England
Quanterix Corporation (@QuanterixSimoa), a company digitizing biomarker analysis with the goal of advancing the science of precision health, announced that Kevin Hrusovsky, Chairman and CEO of Quanterix, and Founder of Powering Precision Health (PPH), has been recognized with the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2019 Award in the New England region by EY. The award acknowledges Hrusovsky’s achievements in healthcare technology innovation, Quanterix’ outstanding financial performance, and his personal commitment to improving precision health.

Hacking Dermatology Announces Call for Applications and Mentors for 2019 Program with Focus on Innovation and Precision Medicine in Dermatology
Applications are now being accepted for Hacking Dermatology 2019 (@HackDermatology), an innovation challenge that unites clinical and scientific experts, patients, engineers and innovators to reimagine the landscape of patient care. Winning teams will be awarded a total of $85,000 (USD) in grants and entered into an acceleration period to receive mentorship and access to resources to bring solutions to market.

Konica Minolta Healthcare and the Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub Partner to Drive Innovation in Healthcare
Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc. (@KonicaMinoltaMI) and the Emory Healthcare (@emoryhealthcare) Innovation Hub recently formed a strategic partnership that aims to positively impact healthcare in the U.S. by addressing some of the significant problems affecting clinicians and patients. Emory Healthcare, one of the nation’s most comprehensive academic health systems, and Konica Minolta Healthcare, a leader in medical imaging systems, healthcare IT and precision medicine solutions, together will innovate care pathways through the adoption of new technologies and clinical workflows, as well as develop new solutions to advance personalized patient care with the goal of contributing to a patient-centered healthcare ecosystem.

Avellino Labs Founder Gene Lee Receives 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Named to World Economic Forum’s Precision Medicine Council
Avellino Labs (@Avellinolab_USA), a global biotechnology and genetic science innovator, announced the company’s founder, chairman and president, Gene Lee, is a recipient of a 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In addition, Lee has been appointed to the World Economic Forum’s Precision Medicine Council.

Forum Health Launches as Nationwide Provider of Precision Health Services
Forum Health LLC has launched, uniting practitioners under a precision health model that addresses root causes — not just symptoms — to help people achieve their personal wellness goals.


From border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Tune in to hear your correspondent Jim Tate (@jimtate) on The Tate Chronicles. Join him as he cuts through the fog and static that exists at the leading edge of healthcare technology. Come with him as he explores emerging technologies that hold potential to bring beneficial disruptions to healthcare. On this episode, he talks to Bud Zborowski who brings a wealth of experience in business strategy and project execution to healthcare. He has recently been involved with blockchain use cases in healthcare, genomic data networks, and precision medicine business start-ups.

To Read
Highlighted Guest Posts

You Had One Job, or, If You Can’t Ensure Data Security, Then …. – By David Harlow, JD, MPH – Vibrent, one of NIH’s data management contractor for the All of Us genomic and other health data research project, was found by OIG to have a number of holes in its data security infrastructure and policies, ranging from failure to encrypt its AWS servers to failure to adhere to FISMA (federal IT security) standards more broadly. OIG also found that NIH fell down on the job by not monitoring its contractor more closely. Everything has been patched, but this represents a black eye for a program intended to build public confidence in government colleciton and analysis of sensitive medical and genomic data as it seeks to enroll one million Americans.


All of Us Research Program

Precision Medicine Initiative

The National Library of Medicine also tells us the “Precision Medicine Initiative is a long-term research endeavor, involving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and multiple other research centers, which aims to understand how a person’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle can help determine the best approach to prevent or treat disease.” The Initiative has both short and long term goals.


The Journal of Precision Medicine (@JournPrecMed)
The world’s first print publication to discuss the many key global issues surrounding this rapidly evolving landscape. It does so by connecting both ends of the life science continuum – the compelling discoveries being realized in molecular research with the critical needs of the patient in the clinical setting.

The Personalized Medicine Coalition  (@permedcoalition)
PMC, representing innovators, scientists, patients, providers and payers, promotes the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts, services and products to benefit patients and the health system.