Making Personalized Medicine a Reality


Dr. Ken Buetow, BIG Health Catalyst

Existentialists posit that “Existence precedes essence…  reality is existence”.   A loose paraphrase would be “You are what you do”.  BIG Health took its first steps this week and in the process made Personalized Medicine that much closer to becoming a reality.

A core confederation of “do-ers”, individuals committed to actualizing the 21st Century Biomedical System necessary for Personalized Medicine, convened this week.   This novel collection of stakeholders representing the different dimensions of this new ecosystem – providers, consumers, government, academia, research, advocacy, industry – shared their needs and offered their capabilities.

What was truly impressive was the collection of “boots on the ground” activities and networks that the participants shared as potential resources that could be joined to create the ecosystem.  The energy was palpable and the enthusiasm was infectious.

Perhaps most important was the overall commitment to action.  The group rolled up its collective sleeves and began framing specific projects that it could undertake.  One key area for further exploration was centered on “virtual clinical research”.  There was much enthusiasm for assembling the unique components of the ecosystem to demonstrate new models for clinical research; models that connect the care delivery system with the research enterprise.  

The group also identified developing a “Learning Health Care System” as another focal point.  This project will explore how the primary observations that occur in clinical encounters could be repurposed to improve care outcomes and assess quality of care.

This initial meeting represents the first wave of the “pebble in the pond”.  The wave is already expanding to include more interested parties and these early participants are already reaching out to other constituencies that will join the expanding circle.  They will bring additional ideas and candidate projects.  Join us in our action-oriented, existential “leap of faith” in making Personalized Medicine a reality

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