Personalized Health Care

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced today a new Personalized Health Care Initiative designed to achieve gene based medical care combined with health information technology. The initiative has the following goals:

* Establish a secured electronic system to exchange, aggregate and analyze key data from a large number of existing secure health care databases;
* Support the science and health information technology base and enable it to expand;
* Support efficient and effective drug development partnerships between public and private sector leadership, and
* Help integrate the Personalized Health Care into the mainstream of clinical practice.

At the 2007 FEHBP carrier conference held earlier this month, Medco’s CEO David Snow spoke about the promised by gene-based medicine. He explained for example that the human genome project is facilitating the development of markers that will enable doctors to tell whether a particular drug will be effective for a patient and if so what would be the appropriate dosage. He noted that the use of these markers which is growing will improve the efficiency of the our health care system. Similarly, the Washington Post reports today that saliva based screens based on genetic codes may be used to routinely diagnose and monitor illness within five years.