"Genomic medicine is an emerging medical discipline that involves using genomic information about an individual as part of their clinical care (e.g. for diagnostic or therapeutic decision-making) and the health outcomes and policy implications of that clinical use."
The opportunity to use genomic information to improve health - genomic medicine - is a direct result of the Human Genome Project. NHGRI does this by supporting scientific research that helps us understand illness at the molecular level and by increasing our ability to apply that knowledge to keep people healthy and do more to help those who are ill. This is the essence of genomic medicine.
Using knowledge of a person's health risks and diagnosis to guide their healthcare is not new. But the use of genetic information for health care has been relatively uncommon. This is changing. A tidal wave of information and genomic testing opportunities are both expanding our options, affecting many more medical conditions, and raising new questions.
The independent report shows that genomics is already driving a remarkable paradigm shift in health practices and outcomes. In the last 15 years, the cost of reading an individual's DNA sequence -- their genome -- has plummeted from hundreds of millions of dollars to around the cost of a shoulder MRI. This is ushering in a new era of precision healthcare, in which treatments, prevention strategies and health advice will reach the right person at the right time.