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A Vision for Twenty-First Century Healthcare

The convergence of systems science, big data, and patient-activated social networks is leading to the practice of predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory (P4) Medicine. P4 Medicine has two central thrusts: optimizing wellness and demystifying disease. In this chapter, we will describe current research practices that embody P4 Medicine, providing examples of how these studies have and can continue to integrate with and transform the healthcare system. We will focus on the use of dense longitudinal profiling of an individual's physiological state—so-called “deep phenotyping”—to gain key insights into wellness as well as the onset, progression, treatment, and prevention of disease. Such a systems approach will generate clinically actionable possibilities to enable individuals to optimize wellness and/or avoid disease. We believe that this approach will transform healthcare by decreasing costs, increasing healthcare quality, and promoting innovation in a new paradigm of medical practice.

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