Policies and practices of data-intensive primary care in the precision-medicine era

Vasiliki Rahimzadeh, Gillian Bartlett


Since our first writing on the topic in 2014, it comes as no surprise that the wheels of technological progress in next generation sequencing and precision medicine have not ceased turning. The clinical frontier is on the cusp of yet another technological revolution, one that is chiefly driven by new forms and functions of data, capable of transforming the clinic into a living, learning ecosystem of discovery and care. Primary care is, as it was in 2014, situated at the nexus of this technological progress, community health and whole person care. With greater demands for data of increasing volumes, veracities and validities to meet these practice-based needs, what then constitutes primary ‘data’ in primary care? In what forms does this data come, and for what/whom should it serve in the post genomic era? This article takes up the ethical, legal and social dimensions of these questions as they relate to the precision medicine movement in North America, with particular attention to emerging synergies between fields such as epigenetics and data requirements needed to practice ‘data-intensive’ primary care. 


genomics, primary care, big data, ethics, learning healthcare system, precision medicine

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18103/imr.v3i9.558


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