About the Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine
“Precision Medicine – which encompasses our ability to harness all the available data and technology tools at our disposal to prevent and treat human illness and improve human health – is a tremendous opportunity.”
—Precision Medicine: An Action Plan for California December 2018
The California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine (CIAPM) was launched in 2015. The state initially provided $3 million to create the first-in-nation statewide precision medicine program, since that time it has grown into a $53 million statewide initiative. CIAPM is a partnership between the state, the University of California, and other public and private entities. CIAPM aims to help support innovation in health and steward advances to be inclusive, put patients and health improvement at the center of outcomes, incorporate principles of health equity, consider economic impacts, support emerging science and technology, foster the growing ecosystem in California, and recognize that it takes all partners working together to translate science into medical advances to promote prevention, health, and precision medicine.
The initiative supports patient-focused demonstration projects and connects health and medicine stakeholders from across California. CIAPM stimulates cross-sector collaborations among the state’s scientists, clinicians, entrepreneurs and patient participants, enabling them to turn available large data sets and technical innovation into better health outcomes.
About Precision Medicine
As envisioned in the 2011 National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) report, “Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease,” precision medicine aims to use advanced computing tools to aggregate, integrate and analyze vast amounts of data from research, clinical, personal, environmental and population health settings, to better understand diseases and develop and deliver more precise diagnostics, therapeutics, and prevention measures.
Why do people who have the same disease often respond differently to the same treatment?
Why do so many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, affect racial and ethnic groups in different ways?
Why do some people with a healthy life style still get conditions such as diabetes or heart disease?
Precision medicine aims to answer questions like these, and in doing so, deliver more effective, predictive, and precise health care to all. Bringing together a person-centered approach with innovative analyses of large and diverse health-related data sets, precision medicine seeks to define well-being and improve health care—from prevention to diagnosis to treatment—for each individual, based on what is known about that person’s unique characteristics and circumstances.
For instance, when choosing treatment strategies for an asthma patient, a doctor may want to consider how well a particular medication works for people who share similar air quality, diet and exercise habits as well as genetic heritage and health history as the patient. With precision medicine, such treatment strategies will become more and more precise, as cross-disciplinary collaborations of clinicians, researchers, computer scientists and patient participants continually advance our understanding of factors that contribute to health and disease. Vast amounts of information are being gathered from the population at large, from electronic medical records and clinical studies, to genomic, environmental, socioeconomic, and mobile lifestyle data. These data will be integrated with the continuously expanding knowledge of biological processes discovered in basic science laboratories and analyzed to reveal patterns of health or disease that might otherwise be invisible, and to use this new information to achieve better health across our society, to diagnose earlier and more accurately, to treat with less waste and fewer adverse outcomes, and, consequently, to lower health care costs.
CIAPM’s vision is to maximize the use of the State’s enormous resources and accelerate progress in precision medicine, improving human health in California and establishing California as a leader in this new approach to research, health and health care. To lay the groundwork for innovation, CIAPM is 1) supporting proof-of-concept demonstration projects; 2) fostering a statewide community of leaders; and 3) examining the policy context in California to support these innovations.
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