Getting to the heart of precision health research

Research by CSIRO’s Precision Health and Responsible Innovation Future Science Platforms has shown that precision health’s vision of integrated, comprehensive, and personalised health for all still requires further development to enhance uptake.

In the past ten years, precision health has emerged as a multi-billion-dollar global growth industry. The initiative has been underpinned by some exciting innovations in medicine, public health, and computer science; while wearable devices, smartphones, and other gadgets have flooded consumer markets.

The future of health promises smart phones, smart homes, and smartwatches delivering highly individualised health reports, diagnostic test results, and wellbeing recommendations exactly when and where they are needed. Precision health even promises to go a step further, taking measures to intervene in the path of a disease before it is detected.

And while there is no disputing that precision health’s potential is real, new research by CSIRO’s Precision Health and Responsible Innovation Future Science Platforms has shown that precision health’s vision of integrated, comprehensive, and personalised health for all still requires further development to enhance uptake.

Dr Jillian Ryan (CSIRO) and Dr John Noel Viana (Australian National University/CSIRO), supported by the RI FSP, led a scoping review on the current state of global precision health research. The study, which also involved the National University of Singapore, identifies some promising trends and glaring gaps in the inclusion of children, the elderly, and people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. There is also underreporting of participant race/ethnicity across the 225 studies included in the review.

Read more about this work on ECOS.

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