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21st Century Cures: Making Precision Medicine an Everyday Reality

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By investing in legislation that addresses the key barriers to research and deploying innovative health technology, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Cures leadership team of Chairman Fred Upton and Congresswoman Diana DeGette are creating a new wind tunnel for precision medicine and better health for all Americans.

The 21st Century Cures legislation provides the tools industry needs to accelerate genomic sequencing and to make this data valuable for targeting treatment to individual patients. Not only will this data be available for clinicians and patients to identify treatment, but the data will also be sharable and secure for research thanks to the interoperability provision that Congressman Burgess and other House Energy and Commerce members and staff crafted to address the lack of interoperability that exists today.

The legislation provides the pathway towards integrating health data based upon a set of single uniform standards for:
(1)vocabulary and terminology; (2) content and structure; (3) transport of information; (4) security; (5) service; and (6) querying and requesting health information for access, exchange, and use.

With truly secure nationwide interoperable health data, computational analytics can dramatically reduce the time that teams of physicians need to pinpoint what they’re seeing in a patient, find the right drugs or combination of therapies that make sense for that specific patient, and more effectively match patients to trials that might have value for them. Fortunately, the reforms and funding provided by 21st Century Cures will accelerate America’s health IT industry in this direction.

It is also critical to actually achieving interoperability that the Committee drove the legislation to compel real-world certification for standards and implementation specifications.

“21st Century Cures provides a framework for data exchange where interoperability doesn’t take a village. Instead it becomes automated and every dollar we don’t use to make technical systems work together is a dollar we can use for research,” Eric Dishman, Intel Fellow, General Manager Intel Health & Life Sciences Group during the NIH Workshop on the Precision Medicine Initiative held last month in Nashville.

We also sincerely appreciate the hard work of the Committee to take on telehealth and remote patient monitoring benefits for Medicare patients. Although legislation has not been finalized on this subject, it must be. Real time health data is a crucial piece of the precision medicine puzzle and we look forward to continuing to work with industry and the Congress to develop value based approaches to integrate this data.

Congratulations to the many members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their contributions to creating a road map for bringing US healthcare into the 21st Century.
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