PCAST and Personalized Medicine


Today, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) presented its report “Priorities for Personalized Medicine.” I recommend that you take a gander at what’s been cookin’ with them.

PCAST is a body appointed by the President comprising the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and members from outside the Federal government with diverse expertise in science, technology, and the impact of science and technology to provide advice on matters of science and technology policy. Kathy Behrens and Floyd Kvamme–the co-chairs of this report–are real icons in the health technologies and private investment world and know the biotechnology space, and most importantly, know how to do the future value scoping of what this all means to health care.

Apparently, this is pretty important to them. They take an outside-in view on three vectors of Personalized Medicine–technology and tools, regulation, and reimbursement for its policy considerations. This report brings under one banner some of the key views of whether yesterday’s health care system can accommodate these new capabilities or whether systems change is needed to enable the value and capabilities of genomics, health IT and evidence-based medicine to reach its pinnacle of opportunity.

Maybe this will be the report that starts the conversation to bring into scope the actions needed across academe, business, and government to enable the full potential of personalized medicine to come into focus. Incremental (accidental?) change vs. a strategic redesign for the application of technology and knowledge is the crossroads we’ve reached. Maybe their work is the fulcrum for deciding who’s onboard for this transformation and who’s happy with the safe and predictable footing we’re on and waiting for others to decide the path forward. Maybe it’s time to raise the stakes. This work by PCAST brings together the major steps to be considered for the value of health care and who’s in and who’s out. Judge for yourself if this is the direction we should go – as a community of the willing.

-Greg Downing, DO, PhD


One Response to “PCAST and Personalized Medicine”

  1. Personalized Pens Says:

    I am a strong believer in personal health records and personalized medicine. Good on PCAST for encouraging it! our health system is broken.

    Jonathan Walsh

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