Precision Medicine and the U.S.’s Big Data Progress: 5 Key Initiatives to Watch

October 14, 2016 Mike Pallagi

Shortly after the White House released a fact sheet touting the progress of the nation’s big-data efforts, Nathan Boroyan of wrote a piece about it, offering a “rundown of some of the specific open-data health efforts of the Obama Administration.” These include:

  1. The Precision Medicine Initiative. Boroyan noted the public’s enthusiasm for this initiative, citing the recent National Institutes of Health survey that “found that nearly 80 percent of patients who responded supported the idea of a million-patient biobank,” the result of a cohort program that aims to facilitate precision medicine by compiling over a million genomes.
  1. The Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The author pointed out how Vice President Joe Biden, in discussing this initiative, which aims to accelerate progress in cancer treatment, “singled-out ‘data and technology innovators’ as being a driving force for ‘revolutionizing how medical and research data is shared and used to reach new breakthroughs.’”
  1. The Health Data Initiative. Boroyan explained how this initiative liberates information from HHS’ data stores, which includes provider, consumer-product, and even government-spending data, “and makes it more accessible to the public and industry innovators.” 
  1. Genomic Data Commons. Created to support the first two initiatives on this list, this effort, wrote Boroyan, will “ideally help facilitate comparative research projects and other initiatives to accelerate cancer-curing research.” 
  1. Blue Button. Now under the supervision of the ONC, this effort targeting Veteran Affairs patients “has been adopted by over 450 healthcare organizations.” Thanks to this program, “more than three million veterans, service members, and Medicare beneficiaries have viewed their personal health data more than 46 million times.”

Read the full article here.


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