About the Discussion

@NEJM Ask the Experts: A New Initiative on Precision Medicine

In their recent publication, "A New Initiative on Precision Medicine," that was published on January 30, 2015 in The New England Journal of Medicine, the authors give us an overview of what President Barack Obama's new Precision Medicine Initiative will entail.

The authors tell us that precision medicine is prevention and treatment strategies that take individual variability into account. What is that, really?

The authors go on to tell us that this applies large-scale biologic databases (such as the human genome sequence), powerful methods for characterizing patients (such as proteomics, metabolomics, genomics, diverse cellular assays, and even mobile health technology), and computational tools for analyzing large sets of data to medicine.

Near term goals will look at cancer and developing a "cancer knowledge network." Future goals will look at applications to all of medicine. What does this mean?