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The Time Is Now For A Precision Health Movement

By Kevin Hrusovsky, CEO And Executive Chairman, Quanterix

As individuals, we have the responsibility to challenge the norms of today to ensure that the generations of the future are able to live healthier, longer lives. Unfortunately, we are living in a world plagued by devastating diseases—the time to take action is now. 

At today’s inaugural Powering Precision Health Summit, our goal is to transform the way we look at healthcare and medicine to improve human health. We want to go after the big three like never before – the big three being neurology, oncology, and cardiology. We feel that there are some really devastating diseases in each of those categories, and we have brought together some of the best minds in the world to improve the way we detect and treat them. Different to our approach however, is that we don’t just want to talk about the best ways to detect these diseases, nor the best treatments, we want to take an in depth look at how can prevent the disease in the first place, because we believe focusing on prevention has the power to transform healthcare. 

For many years, disease detection has been an untapped area of potential. We feel there hasn’t been enough attention in this area, whether it’s due to a lack of funding, political or personal agendas – there’s so many things that have gotten the way of preventing the disease. But today, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness for disease detection and prevention—its time we address this issue together.

If we look at the number of technological advances being made across other industries, it’s clear they’ve truly figured out how to move from analog to digital. They’ve harnessed the power of digital technologies to go after big data and bring solutions to other industries in a very productive way. Medicine, for some reason is trailing behind what these other industries have done. By modeling our approach to healthcare and medicine after the technological revolution that’s happening in other industries, we are poised to finally catch up and transform healthcare.

In addition, there’s never been a more obvious reason for why we need to improve an industry. I’ve seen an uproar from society questioning whether we have the best healthcare choices and best healthcare access. We see systems around the world that have truly looked into prevention as a key leg of their healthcare initiative, and those countries are completely annihilating America’s metrics for healthcare. In Japan for example, citizens are living approximately eight years longer than in United States. Even more shocking, is that the Japanese government is spending one-tenth the amount of money on healthcare that America is spending per person. If that wasn’t enough, even in the last eight years, the Japanese have improved on these statistics and are living healthier, more productive lives. 

By detecting diseases at the onset, when they are most treatable, we can truly change healthcare. What we know today about biomarkers and their ability to indicate when a person has a disease before symptoms present is truly groundbreaking. These biomarkers are the key to showing doctors what’s happening inside a person’s body at a given moment, and can help us measure change from the healthy baseline, enabling us to track even minute changes in a person’s health. For this reason, they are critical for powering precision health and advancing our understanding of certain diseases.

With the all of the groundbreaking research being released today, we are one step closer to improving human health. Innovators and technologists are on the cutting edge of developing with new and improved ways to test for diseases, and researchers and scientists are on the forefront of proving hypothesis for earlier disease detection.

I am optimistic for the future of medicine. As the Founder of the Powering Precision Health Summit, I am honored to have been joined today by the leading scientific innovators, researchers, and luminaries of our time to address the issues our healthcare system faces. By coming together at today, we are one step closer to transforming healthcare and advancing early disease detection, and ultimately, altering what it means to live a healthy, productive life.