Precision Health: A Personalized Approach to Active Health Management

  • Angela Riveroll University of Prince Edward Island
  • Stephen Murray Queen Elizabeth Hospital Lab Quality Group Canadian Partnership Against Cancer Primary and Integrated Healthcare Innovations Network Beaconstone
  • Katherine Thompson University of New Brunswick
  • Kyle Robertson University of Prince Edward Island
  • Anja Salijevic University of Prince Edward Island
  • William Montelpare University of Prince Edward Island


According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), precision medicine is “an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle for each person”. The precision medicine approach has delivered effective personalized treatment strategies tailored for the individual. In the field of pharmacogenetics, computer algorithms that integrate an individual’s unique genetic code and clinical information are used to calculate more precisely warfarin dosage. This innovation prevents under-dosing or over-dosing, which can result in clotting or bleeding in patients respectively. However, the term precision medicine has strong connotations as a reactive treatment for existing health conditions in patients and is limiting as a term for representing a more prominent focus on disease prevention in healthy persons. In contrast the term precision health better reflects an emphasis on proactive health management in individuals. Precision health still has at its foundation a tailored approach, but emphasizes proactive versus reactive health care and focuses on how lifestyle and environmental conditions can be modified to extend well-being including health across the lifespan (4). This paper will present concepts on how key determinants such as person/client engagement, biological research including “omics”, information technology research, and translational health research can establish precision health as the gold standard in active health care management. Mechanisms to facilitate the operationalization of precision health are discussed.
How to Cite
A. Riveroll, S. Murray, K. Thompson, K. Robertson, A. Salijevic, and W. Montelpare, “Precision Health: A Personalized Approach to Active Health Management”, CMBES, vol. 41, May 2018.