News Corner: Is “The Internet of Me” Upon Us?

As the field of health information technology (health IT) continues to grow, attendees at the Information Week Conference noticed an increased push towards personalized medicine. According to speaker Adriana Karaboutis, Vice President of Technology at Biogen, health IT has evolved to the point where we’re now able to customize healthcare solutions. Karaboutis believes this continuous evolution combining computing power and health research will lead to a world where personalized medicine is the norm, what she refers to as the “Internet of Me.”

While the positive side of the “Internet of Me” is improved care with potentially better outcomes due to treatments being tailored to each individual, the danger is that people are going to pursue this level of personalization, when standardized, proven treatments may be just as effective.  This can cause conflicts and lead to delays in areas where fast, precise care is required.

Still, it’s difficult to argue that the industry is headed toward personalized medicine. To support this level of personalization, however, technology must connect in new ways to support the opportunity to gather the data necessary to create a comprehensive treatment for each individual. As healthcare moves more toward an outcomes-focused system, it’s important to have a complete view of each patient and the care they have received.

Owing in part to new federal regulations for data sharing, and the delay of sharing fees by popular EHR vendors, the “Internet of Me” is closer than ever before. As organizations, both on the vendor and user side, begin to prioritize information exchange and comprehensive patient care, providers will be able to make more personalized and informative decisions about their patients’ health.

Do you believe personalized medicine is the next frontier for health IT? When is it appropriate to support personalized care over standard proven treatment methods?

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