The Medical Community Needs to Aim Higher: Precision Health should be our goal, not Precision Medicine

We had the pleasure of hosting a select group of entrepreneurs, innovators, academics, investors, and business leaders in the medical field, including the distinguished Dr. Lloyd Minor, dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, at Artiman recently for a riveting discussion about why everyone in the medical ecosystem – doctors, insurers, health providers, researchers, educators, hospital groups, patients, even investors – should be focusing on Precision Health and not stopping at Precision Medicine.

Dr. Minor sees Precision Medicine as a subset of Precision Health, with the ultimate goal of getting everyone to be more proactively focused and engaged around health and wellness. This is nothing short of a fundamental rethinking of the entire medical ecosystem, Dr. Minor says, which will result in healthier individuals and lower healthcare costs. Joining the discussion were Dr. Sam Gambhir and Dr. Marc Pegram from Stanford, as well as leaders from Google, IDEO, UCSF, EnPlas, Samsung, Triple Ring, CEOs of several of our portfolio companies, and Artiman partners and advisors.

Dr. Minor’s approach is based on combining high touch and high tech, and we couldn’t be more aligned with him. We see entrepreneurs around the world trying new, fresh approaches to preventive medicine, looking not just at a single disease or symptom, but considering the whole person, and not just when someone gets sick but long before then.

As an adjunct professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, I’ve seen first-hand how Dr. Minor’s vision is impacting the education and preparation of the next wave of healthcare professionals. At Artiman, we’re invested in several startups in screening, diagnostics, therapy selection, and monitoring, working towards the same objective, including CardioDX, CellMax, Cellworks, Visby Medical, CORE Diagnostics, medECUBE, and OncoStem Diagnostics.

One of the underpinnings of the Artiman philosophy is that disruptive innovation happens at intersections of diverse disciplines. We hope to have many such brainstorming sessions, bringing together thinkers from varied backgrounds – both from industry and academia.

Dr. Ajit Singh is a Silicon Valley-based partner at Artiman Ventures, an early-stage venture fund investing in white space companies creating or disrupting multi-billion dollar markets. He is also a Consulting Professor in the School of Medicine at Stanford University and holds a doctorate in Computer Science from Columbia University.