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HHS Issues First Department-Wide Report on Personalized Health Care
Date:9/19/2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt today released the first department-wide report on the goal of personalized health care and said work in biomedical science, health information technology and health care delivery should be aligned to produce "the right treatment, at the right time" for each individual patient.

The report, Personalized Health Care: Opportunities, Pathways, Resources, presents a long-range plan for achieving much more individualized treatment for patients, especially by using genetic information and health information technology (IT). Together, health information and IT can give clinicians better information about each patient and more support in choosing "best care" options for treatment.

"Health care professionals have always aimed at making medical care as individualized as possible. But in truth, our ability to deliver the right care for each person has been limited," Secretary Leavitt writes in a foreword to the report.

The report was produced as part of Secretary Leavitt's priority initiative on personalized health care. It describes how the exploding knowledge of the human genome will increase the capacity to predict, detect, preempt and treat disease, by enabling physicians to "look beneath" visible symptoms and see signs and causes of disease at the molecular level. The report also describes how health IT can make patient information accessible securely, while maintaining confidentially, as well as how it can support high quality care. Health IT can even help clinicians and researchers ascertain which treatments are most effective and for whom, by using broad-scale data derived from day-to-day medical practice.

The report includes descriptions of the opportunities presented by science and technology. It also outlines pathways where work is needed. The report presents the first inventory of some 50 related programs underway throughout HHS.

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SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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