IT's Role in Precision Medicine

IT requirements and strategic considerations for handling new data from the digital frontier

Precision medicine has the potential to dramatically transform health care delivery by accumulating massive new data streams (e.g., genomic screening, social determinants of health data, patient-reported information) across patient cohorts and partner ecosystems (e.g., providers, payers, pharma, universities). With this new approach to health and wellness, clinicians can better understand disease, and provide more precise and proactive diagnoses and treatments for each patient.

In this report, we focus on developing a strategy to manage the overwhelming amount of data produced by precision medicine. Furthermore, we provide a market overview, address funding and adoption trends, and highlight some notable use cases and vendors operating in this field.


Section 1: From “standard of care” to precision medicine

With advances in sequencing technologies, data analytics, and other forms of IT, health care providers are steadily moving toward the ideal goal of tailored treatments that can better match each patient’s unique biology. Precision medicine’s appeal is its ability to guide clinicians toward the most effective treatment for each patient—thus improving care quality, while reducing the need for unnecessary diagnostic testing and therapies.

  1. Precision medicine, defined (p. 8)
  2. Genomics offers opportunities, but more progress needed (p. 9)

Section 2: IT implications for precision medicine

Health care providers looking to implement their own precision medicine programs will likely need to leverage an ecosystem of vendors and partners to address their full end-to-end needs—heavily leveraging analytics and artificial intelligence for data analysis, cloud for data storage and exchange, and clinical decision support platforms that make unstructured and structured data actionable at the point of care for clinicians.

  1. Precision medicine incorporates multiple data streams (p. 12)
  2. Typical workflow and IT architecture requirements (p. 13)
  3. No shortage of IT methods to support precision medicine (p. 15)
  4. Use IT to implement more precise health care (p. 16)

Section 3: Future outlook

Precision medicine is a highly specialized field, and adoption is still low outside of large academic medical centers, specialty centers, and innovative health systems. Nevertheless, the growing use of direct-to-consumer screening tests, government-funded research initiatives, and increased venture capital investment shows that patients and other industry stakeholders see genomics and the broader field of precision medicine as a significant opportunity moving forward.

  1. Industry investment trends (p. 33)
  2. Precision medicine adoption trends (p. 34)
  3. Innovative health systems leading the way (p. 35)
  4. Future scenarios for precision medicine IT (p. 38)


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