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Precision Public Health for Non-communicable Diseases: An Emerging Strategic Roadmap and Multinational Use Cases

  • Canfell, Oliver J.1, 2, 3, 4
  • Davidson, Kamila2
  • Woods, Leanna1, 3
  • Sullivan, Clair1, 4, 5
  • Cocoros, Noelle M.6
  • Klompas, Michael6, 7
  • Zambarano, Bob8
  • Eakin, Elizabeth9
  • Littlewood, Robyn4
  • Burton-Jones, Andrew2
  • 1 Centre for Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD , (Australia)
  • 2 UQ Business School, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD , (Australia)
  • 3 Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre, Australian Government, Sydney, NSW , (Australia)
  • 4 Health and Wellbeing Queensland, Queensland Government, The State of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD , (Australia)
  • 5 Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Department of Health, Queensland Government, Herston, QLD , (Australia)
  • 6 Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA , (United States)
  • 7 Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA , (United States)
  • 8 Commonwealth Informatics Inc., Waltham, MA , (United States)
  • 9 School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD , (Australia)
Published Article
Frontiers in Public Health
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Apr 08, 2022
DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.854525
  • Public Health
  • Perspective


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) remain the largest global public health threat. The emerging field of precision public health (PPH) offers a transformative opportunity to capitalize on digital health data to create an agile, responsive and data-driven public health system to actively prevent NCDs. Using learnings from digital health, our aim is to propose a vision toward PPH for NCDs across three horizons of digital health transformation: Horizon 1—digital public health workflows; Horizon 2—population health data and analytics; Horizon 3—precision public health. This perspective provides a high-level strategic roadmap for public health practitioners and policymakers, health system stakeholders and researchers to achieving PPH for NCDs. Two multinational use cases are presented to contextualize our roadmap in pragmatic action: ESP and RiskScape (USA), a mature PPH platform for multiple NCDs, and PopHQ (Australia), a proof-of-concept population health informatics tool to monitor and prevent obesity. Our intent is to provide a strategic foundation to guide new health policy, investment and research in the rapidly emerging but nascent area of PPH to reduce the public health burden of NCDs.

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