The Precision Medicine Initiative

 

The more data we have, the more we’re going to be able to learn.~ President Obama, February 25, 2016
On Thursday, February 25, 2016, I was honored to be able to do something that was hugely rewarding, professionally and personally. I was able to represent drchrono, joining the White House administration, President Obama, scientific experts, and key medical/tech leaders at a Summit in Washington, D.C. A major part of the focus of the summit included a collaborative announcement on the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). The goal of the collaboration is to bring together the private sector, public sector and government to design and implement a new technology for healthcare.

 

Digital health is a field that drchrono has been focused on for years. From the start of the company, we have been bringing together many players, having a “let’s work together” open culture, partnering with many different developers and companies. We are convinced that linking medical records together from various Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors is critical in giving a whole picture of the history of a persons care, also bringing in genomics, big data and analytics together will only enhance our understanding for more precise and better healthcare for an individual, helping us understand disease, improving outcomes and helping to lower/contain costs.

 

We have already started the process by allowing healthcare-focused software developers, companies and Internet of Things (IoT) device organizations to push and pull data from the drchrono platform. The relevant data can then be used when needed. We are in talks with genomics labs and genomics software vendors on how we might be able to bring more relevant data to physicians fingertips. This will help physicians and care professionals make more focused decisions, giving them insights on what medications and procedures have worked successfully in patients like the one they are seeing now that have similar genomic patterns. Physicians and care providers can predict which patients are at risk, and then can deliver appropriate treatments before a patient’s condition worsens, by discovering and seeing these similar genomic patterns.

 

Around the world we are generating large amounts of data, coming from our new ability to sequence the human genome and our second genome, the microbiome. There are new opportunities to analyze and understand disease onset and progression, and how and why people stay healthy, also on how people get healthy. Genomics is an interesting field for cancer researchers and big data companies. Researchers and industry have started to develop and use tools to understand cancers, via genomic data, looking to help diagnose and treat it. The goal of looking at genomics is to give patients personalize medicine, to understand an individuals illness, environment and to design treatments for that individual. ( Note: Some great software genomics companies worth taking a look at are Station X and Real Time Oncology. )

 

Providing proper treatment to a person at the right time improves outcomes which in turn lowers cost. Given the right treatment, people get better faster. Precision medicine is valuable in controlling and in reducing care spend.

 

With Obama's dogs Bo and Sunny — with Sunny Obama and Bo Obama at The White House.
With Obama’s dogs Bo and Sunny at The White House.

 

drchrono has worked with InfoGard to get meaningful use Stage 1 and Stage 2 certified, but this is the first time we will be working with the White House directly, joining PMI, specifically the “Sync for Science” pilots. Companies that joined will be working in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.  The “Sync for Science” pilots end goal is to develop open standards with electronic health record companies, there are six EHRs working toward this goal, including drchrono. The lessons learned will inform efforts to scale individual data access and donation for precision medicine research, and could be used to support implementation of consumer-mediated data access across the healthcare industry. The data submitted will be based on the patients “opt-in”.

 

The President’s announcement brought together several hundred people from different organizations that have made commitments. Around forty organizations, including drchrono, made substantial commitments of funding, training, data and other resources to support PMI. It was great to meet with key players to understand how we can make PMI successful.

 

As part of the announcement, drchrono committed to enabling and supporting Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). FHIR is an Application Programming Interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records. The standard was created by the Health Level Seven International (HL7) health-care standards organization. The FHIR API will work in tandem with our existing medical API. We have alway supported an “open the data” API culture, allowing developers to build on our platform, allowing them to build in amazing ways, enabling FHIR will allow the developer community and others an additional API option.

 

Taimur at HIMSS 2016 talking about FHIR and drchrono
Taimur at HIMSS 2016 talking about FHIR and drchrono

 

As we make progress over the next coming weeks and months, we will talk about the ways we are making progress on the “Sync for Science” pilots. We are all excited at drchrono about PMI. Enabling open and connected medical records data to make better decisions for personalized healthcare only makes sense. With huge amounts of data also coming from proteomics, genomics, and focusing on a total organism instead of just anatomy, enables new paths for prevention and treatment.

 

Some key resources about PMI:
Keep up to date with PMI on twitter as well.

 

Doctors have always recognized that every patient is unique, and doctors have always tried to tailor their treatments as best they can to individuals. You can match a blood transfusion to a blood type — that was an important discovery. What if matching a cancer cure to our genetic code was just as easy, just as standard? What if figuring out the right dose of medicine was as simple as taking our temperature?
~ President Obama, January 30, 2015
Watch the event here –
Daniel Kivatinos Article by Daniel Kivatinos, COO and cofounder, drchrono

Daniel drives direction, brand vision, and business strategy for drchrono. Daniel’s focus has been in the technology space since 2001, as a software engineer and entrepreneur. Daniel holds an M.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Computer Science & Psychology from Stony Brook University.

~ Life is short, build stuff that matters.

 

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