Accelerating Precision Health by Applying the Lessons Learned from Direct-to-Consumer Genomics to Digital Health Technologies

Accelerating Precision Health by Applying the Lessons Learned from Direct-to-Consumer Genomics to Digital Health Technologies

Many people believe that precision health has the potential to follow a similar trajectory of growth of the internet, and if used effectively, the field of digital health could be a catalyst for accelerating its rise. Similar in complexity to the genome, the internet and smartphones feature a majority of users who are not familiar with how they work. As knowledge and technology advance to widen the range of people participating in genetic testing, an extremely large and influential dataset could be created, providing new opportunities to accelerate research, drug development, and precision health. The direct to consumer (DTC) genomics industry has had to navigate the challenges of regulatory issues, health care provider and consumer expectations, and privacy issues. Digital health, by learning from some of the lessons learned by DTC genomics, may be able to more efficiently integrate with the health care system and, in turn, help realize the full potential of precision health for the larger population.

Tung, J. Y., R. J. Shaw, J. M. Hagenkord, M. Hackmann, M. Muller, S. H. Beachy, V. M. Pratt, S. F. Terry, A. K. Cashion, and G. S. Ginsburg. 2018. Accelerating precision health by applying the lessons learned from direct-to-consumer genomics to digital health technologies. NAM Perspectives. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. https://nam.edu/accelerating-precision-health-by-applying-the-lessons-learned-from-direct-to-consumer-genomics-to-digital-health-technologies.

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