Personalized and Population-Level Interventions Key to Value-based Care
Precision medicine and population health may seem like contradictory concepts. Precision medicine is about tailoring medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. Population health is about the health status and health outcomes within a group of people. But, as the COVID-19 outbreak has shown, the two concepts are linked. During the pandemic, precision medicine provided a new paradigm in COVID-19 disease prevention, evaluation and management leading to more precise mitigation strategies, personalized pharmacologic options, as well as new biological therapy developments. COVID-19 also brought health disparities into sharp focus, and health care organizations relied on population health interventions to address public health, medical and socio-economic risk factors and to effectively and ethically respond to the needs of their patient communities. This executive dialogue explores how the pandemic brought into focus the relationship between precision medicine and population health and how the combination of population wide interventions to specific interventions tailored to higher-risk groups will be required to improve population health and narrow health disparities efficiently.