Optimizing precision medicine for public health

Gemma A. Bilkey, Belinda L. Burns, Emily P. Coles, Trinity Mahede, Gareth Baynam, Kristen J. Nowak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in precision medicine have presented challenges to traditional public health decision-making paradigms. Historical methods of allocating healthcare funds based on safety, efficacy, and efficiency, are challenged in a healthcare delivery model that focuses on individualized variations in pathology that form the core of precision medicine. Public health policy and decision-making must adapt to this new frontier of healthcare delivery to ensure that the broad public health goals of reducing healthcare disparities and improving the health of populations are achieved, through effective and equitable allocation of healthcare funds. This paper discusses contemporary applications of precision medicine, and the potential impacts of these on public health policy and decision-making, with particular focus on patients living with rare diseases and rare cancers. The authors then reconcile these, presenting precision public health as the bridge between these seemingly competing fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Mar 2019


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