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Today’s Precision Medicine Requires an Enterprise Strategy

Key takeaways:

  • An ever-increasing influx of clinico-omic data is generating momentum in the flywheel between clinical care and research

  • At the same time, operational challenges create friction for health systems looking to keep pace with emerging trends

  • A data-enabled enterprise strategy eliminates points of friction and separates leaders from laggards in precision medicine 

The research that fuels precision medicine is rooted in population health, requiring access to large-scale cohorts that offer the statistical power necessary to derive insights about specific subgroups of patients.  When those insights make their way into clinical care, new data is acquired about these patients’ experiences and outcomes, leading healthcare teams to formulate new questions that prompt the next wave of precision medicine research.  This cycle accelerates with scale - more patients means a greater breadth and depth of clinico-omic data, and with that comes a greater potential for advancement in individualized care.


Caption: Data creates momentum in the flywheel between clinical care and research.

At the same time, precision medicine is also becoming a point of operational friction for health systems.  Notable contributing factors include:

  • Variability in reporting and EHR integration across vendors
    … which creates inconsistencies in the record 
  • A rapidly evolving genetic testing landscape
    … which leads to differences in clinical practice as individual physicians work to keep pace 
  • A lack of purpose-built IT infrastructure
    … which leave health systems ill-equipped to handle genomic data at scale
  • Disconnects between systems supporting clinical care and research
    … which slow the flywheel that drives both clinical insights and new research hypotheses


Caption: Slow-to-change clinical and operational clinical practices contribute to the “negative scale” of the enterprise data asset.  As the scale of clinical care delivery increases, so does the quantity and breadth of patient data.  However, increasing data scale naturally comes at the expense of quality and usability due to the operational factors described above.

These precision medicine challenges are not isolated to specific areas of clinical care - they affect the entire organization and are embedded within clinical, education, research, operational, and commercial functions.  This means that data strategy is inherently enmeshed with enterprise strategy - one cannot succeed without the other.  

By intentionally committing to a data-enabled precision medicine strategy, health systems can position themselves for excellence and future-proof their data-dependent initiatives.

  • Inconsistently documented records can be transformed into usable, proprietary data sets with research and commercial value 

  • Differences in clinical practice can be addressed through institutional best practice sharing, ensuring alignment on the latest standards of care 

  • Insufficient IT infrastructure can be upgraded to a flexible, scalable supporting infrastructure

  • Previously disconnected systems can be integrated, accelerating the flywheel between research and clinical care 

City of Hope’s DNAnexus-enabled POSEIDON platform is a prime example of the value that can come from a proactive, data-enabled enterprise strategy.  POSEIDON provides seamless integration of multi-modal clinical and research data on a common platform, transforming cancer care for City of Hope’s patients and reducing the length of the research-to-clinical care pathway.  In our recent case study, we highlight Dr. Aritro Nath’s impactful research related to therapy selection for patients with ER+ breast cancer and how a purpose-built tech stack made it possible.

To learn more about what’s required to enable precision medicine as a strategic initiative, join us for a webinar featuring Jeff Keller, PhD, SVP & GM of Health Systems at DNAnexus. 

About DNAnexus

DNAnexus the leader in biomedical informatics and data management, has created the global network for genomics and other biomedical data, operating in 33 countries including North America, Europe, China, Australia, South America, and Africa. The secure, scalable, and collaborative DNAnexus Platform helps thousands of researchers across a spectrum of industries — biopharmaceutical, bioagricultural, sequencing services, clinical diagnostics, government, and research consortia — accelerate their genomics programs.

The DNAnexus team is made up of experts in computational biology and cloud computing who work with organizations to tackle some of the most exciting opportunities in human health, making it easier—and in many cases feasible—to work with genomic data. With DNAnexus, organizations can stay a step ahead in leveraging genomics to achieve their goals. The future of human health is in genomics. DNAnexus brings it all together.