Precision medicine: The next frontier for individualized health care

Marshfield Clinic

No two humans are the same. We like different foods, live in different places and do different things. We are different – from what we eat right down to our DNA.

In the past, providers treated health concerns the same way in all patients. This was based on research that used the average results from a large population. This meant treatments or drugs that worked for 80 percent of people were a good choice and left the other 20 percent without an option.

But now, health care has advanced, and the desire for more individualized health care has grown. There is a need to find the other 20 percent and also offer treatment or drug options for them.

Where precision medicine and research intersect


Precision medicine, and the research that uncovered the individual differences that influence our health and outcomes, uses the DNA you are born with, your diet, exercise and many other factors of your health to determine the best treatments for you.

Precision medicine is a system where we use a lot of information – genetic information, environmental information, dietary information – to tailor your particular medical care in your treatment. – Murray Brilliant, Ph.D., director of the Center for Human Genetics at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute

For instance, precision medicine can be used when treating patients with statins for heart disease. Some people who take certain types of statins develop pain in their legs and lower limbs. This is also called peripheral neuropathy. Read more …