Personalized medicine is a rapidly advancing field of health care that promises greater precision and effectiveness than traditional medicine because it is informed by each person’s unique clinical, social, genetic, genomic, and environmental information.
Personalized medicine takes an integrated, coordinated, evidence-based approach to individualizing patient care across the continuum from health to disease.
Multidisciplinary health care teams work closely with each patient to promote health and wellness, patient education and satisfaction, and customized disease prevention, detection, and treatment.
The overarching goal of personalized medicine is to optimize medical care and outcomes for each individual. It recognizes that the best treatments, medication types and dosages, and prevention strategies may differ from person to person—resulting in an unprecedented customization of patient care.
Personalized medicine takes advantage of advances in molecular understanding of disease to identify individual risk factors and predict individual responsiveness to therapy. This individualized information is gleaned through health and risk assessment, including family history.
In addition, an array of sophisticated new genomic tests continue to be created at a rapid pace as scientists learn more about molecular and genomic signatures of disease risk and therapeutic response.
This knowledge allows providers to deliver the most effective preventive health care strategies and drug therapies while people are still well or at the earliest stages of disease.
Personalized medicine listens to your needs and customizes care in response to what you say. From your reports of specific symptoms to description of personal goals and quality of life, the ultimate in personalized care integrates your personal story with the best science.
Adapted from "Genomic and personalized medicine: foundations and applications," by Duke faculty members Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, MD, PhD, and Huntington F. Willard, PhD. Transl Res. 2009 Dec;154(6):277-87. Epub 2009 Oct 1.
"5P" Health Care
At Duke Medicine, we believe personalized medicine should be defined by the following five principles, or the "5Ps."
Personalized medicine is:
Predictive: Uses state-of-the-art molecular and diagnostic tools to precisely predict individual health risks and outcomes
Personalized: Is informed by each person’s unique clinical, social, genetic, genomic, and environmental profile
Preventive: Emphasizes wellness and prevention to stop disease before it progresses
Preemptive: Incorporates action-oriented, individualized health planning
Participatory: Empowers each patient to participate in their own care, with coordinated support from their health care team
On This Site
Learn more about personalized and genomic medicine at our Personalized Medicine Library