U.S. President Barack Obama makes remarks highlighting investments to improve health and treat disease through precision medicine while in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 30, 2015. A 17 base pair DNA model is next to Obama.

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Precision medicine’s first patient: The national health IT system

March 24, 2015, Niam Yaraghi

In his 2015 State of the Union address President Obama announced the launch of his precision medicine initiative, an audacious initiative to address these issues. The precision medicine initiative requires a longitudinal cohort of one million individuals to provide researchers with various data types including DNA, behavioral data, and electronic health records.  Assembling such a large sample of many different data types proposes two unique challenges pertaining to healthcare information technology: interoperability and privacy.

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