Beyond Genes and Molecules — A Precision Delivery Initiative for Precision Medicine
All physicians aspire to individualize medical care, yet patients often receive care that’s not aligned with their preferences and generally have inadequate access to their health information. The PMI’s scientific advances may add further complexity to delivering high-quality, cost-effective care in keeping with patients’ values. If we don’t grapple with that complexity, patients may wait years to reap the diagnostic and therapeutic benefits of the PMI. A complementary effort in the science of care delivery can promote patient-centered care today by investigating and implementing delivery-system interventions that are tailored to individual needs and wishes, in addition to biology.
Science Needs Your Cells
It’s often portrayed as a story of exploitation. In the early 1950s, Henrietta Lacks, a poor, young African-American woman, learned she had terminal cancer. Cells collected from a biopsy of her cancer were cultured without her knowledge or permission to develop a cell line, called HeLa. Over the ensuing decades, research using HeLa cells led to scores of medical advances, saving lives — and making a lot of money for a lot of people, though not for Ms. Lacks’s family.
Jonathan D. Moreno is a Penn Integrates Knowledge university professor at the University of Pennsylvania, holding the David and Lyn Silfen chair. He is also Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, of History and Sociology of Science, and of Philosophy.Learn More