Personalizing Precision Medicine: A Global Voyage from Vision to Reality

Ten minutes with author Kristin Pothier

Kristin Pothier’s new book, Personalizing Precision Medicine: A Global Voyage from Vision to Reality, accomplishes something quite unique, providing an accessible and provocative overview that speaks to key precision medicine stakeholders as well as the general public. This multifaceted survey of a highly complex topic certainly wasn’t easy, but, thanks to Kristin, those of us dedicated to advancing precision medicine now have another touchstone to help frame the discussion.

To understand more about Kristin’s motivation for writing the book and key learnings as she traveled the globe, we sat down with her in Boston and captured her thoughts on video. As you watch, you’ll note a few key things that we too are seeing as we meet with governments, scientists, researchers, academics and clinicians working on the frontiers of precision medicine.

Kristin’s framing of the “four access hurdles” that limit the delivery of precision care is concise. Whether it’s in vitro diagnostics, imaging, preventative care or targeted treatments, we must put more analytical technologies in the hands of those able to use it. But it’s not about instruments alone; we’ll be generating orders of magnitude more data, so we’ll need “smart integration” of multiomic data as well as optimization models that enable us to provide faster diagnosis and disease management to more patients at the point of care. As Kristin notes in the video, data complexity is a hurdle we can overcome as we collectively invest in smarter analysis. 

Kristin’s wish to elevate precision health above precision medicine is something else we share. Stakeholders must work to shift the paradigm from paying for expensive therapies to avoiding the need for treatment in the first place. This move toward precision health, which will require unprecedented collaboration among stakeholders, is the key to dramatically reducing the costs of healthcare while significantly improving the health and quality of life of populations worldwide.

Enjoy the video.