In March 2007, the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States launched the Personalized Health Care Initiative (PHCI). This initiative, which Evergreen Health Promotion supports, proposed a set of goals “for achieving gene-based medical care combined with health information technology.” PHCI aims to accelerate the development of personalized treatment strategies and transform the practice of medicine towards individualized patient care.
Components of the program include translational research initiatives to develop high throughput sequencing technologies (ie, next-generation sequencing), enhanced mapping of the genetic determinants of disease and drug responsiveness, development of an informatics infrastructure to promote electronic medical records, and broad implementation of genomic data.
Advocates of such a system argue that personalized medicine would have numerous tangible benefits for patients, practitioners and society, including:
Customized treatment plans that consider the unique biological processes of the disease and the patient’s drug response profiles.
Reduced exposure to medications of lower efficacy or greater toxicity, thereby reducing the incidence of serious side effects and improving patient tolerance and compliance.
Overall reduced healthcare costs by expeditious delivery of optimal treatments, avoidance of toxic medications, reduced complication rates, and avoidance of more costly medications when less expensive alternatives of similar (or greater) efficacy are available.
More specific, targeted recommendations for lifestyle and behavioral modification or other disease prevention strategies.
Enhanced patient satisfaction with the treatment process and medical team.