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Aging Well: Using Precision to Drive Down Costs and Increase Health Quality

  • Au, Rhoda1, 2, 3, 4
  • Ritchie, Marina4
  • Hardy, Spencer4
  • Ang, Ting Fang Alvin2, 3, 4
  • Lin, Honghuang2, 5
  • 1 Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA
  • 2 Framingham Heart Study, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Boston, MA 01702, USA
  • 3 Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA
  • 4 Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA
  • 5 Section of Computational Biomedicine, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA
Published Article
Advances in geriatric medicine and research
Publication Date
Jun 05, 2019
DOI: 10.20900/agmr20190003
PMID: 31342014
PMCID: PMC6656386
PubMed Central
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Efforts to provide patients with individualized treatments have led to tremendous breakthroughs in healthcare. However, a precision medicine approach alone will not offset the rapid increase in prevalence and burden of chronic non-communicable illnesses that is continuing to pervade the world’s aging population. With rapid advances in technology, it is now possible to collect digital metrics to assess, monitor and detect chronic disease indicators, much earlier in the disease course, potentially redefining what was previously considered asymptomatic to pre-symptomatic. Data science and artificial intelligence can drive the discovery of digital biomarkers before the emergence of overt clinical symptoms, thereby transforming the current healthcare approach from one centered on precision medicine to a more comprehensive focus on precision health, and by doing so enable the possibility of preventing disease altogether. Presented herein are the challenges to the current healthcare model and the proposition of first steps for reversing the prevailing intractable trend of rising healthcare costs and poorer health quality.

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