Precision Medicine

Precision medicine has the potential to transform medicine by tailoring treatments to individuals. It is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in environment, lifestyle and genes for each person. Precision medicine has great potential to providing high value healthcare by improving outcomes while decreasing cost. It has already transformed the way diseases such as cancer and mental health conditions are treated.The long-term vision for precision medicine is to fully integrate it into the healthcare delivery system from prevention, to diagnostics treatment, and cure (therapeutics). In order to realize the full potential of precision medicine, substantial economic, regulatory, social, and technical challenges to its broad implementation will need to be resolved. Six significant challenges exist to precision medicine’s broad implementation in healthcare:


  • generating sufficient evidence

  • tackling data sharing and infrastructure challenges

  • reshaping the regulatory environment

  • adoption of genomic information from research into clinical care

  • economics of precision medicine 

  • creating payment models involving gains and risks sharing along the value chain and 

  • attaining greater patient and clinician engagement and trust.


In order to engage in more coordinated efforts to establish precision medicine as a driver of our health and healthcare system, policy makers will need to work alongside key stakeholder groups (patients, pharma, medtech, healthcare IT, care providers, payers, physicians, etc.) to address these challenges and reduce barriers.The launch of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco (SFCO), will provide a new space for global cooperation and commitment to developing principles and frameworks that accelerate the application of science and technology for the global public interest.