'P4 healthcare and precision population health - a transformation of healthcare' with Dr Leroy Hood

26 May 2022

Portrait of Professor Sir Charles Godfray

with Professor Sir Charles Godfray
Director, Oxford Martin School

Professor Charles Godfray was appointed Director of the Oxford Martin School on 1 February 2018. He is a population biologist with broad interests in the environmental sciences and has published in fundamental and applied areas of ecology, evolution...

If one takes a systems approach to healthcare, it is obvious that it should be predictive, preventive, personalised and participatory (P4).

This can be accomplished, in part, by a vision which includes following the health trajectory of each individual with a data-driven (genome/longitudinal phenome) approach to, after proper analyses, optimise wellness and avoid disease. This is the essence of what precision population health should be. To achieve this object, Dr Leroy Hood, CEO of Phenome Health, has proposed a “2nd human genome project”, termed Beyond the Human Genome, to analyse the genomes and longitudinal phenomes of one million individuals over 10 years with federal support. He has founded a non-profit company, Phenome Health, to develop the strategies and accumulate effective partners to carry out this initiative, which he will discuss in this talk.

The first three Ps have to do with science and they lead to what Dr Hood calls the science of wellness and prevention. The fourth P, 'participatory', has to do with education, psychology and sociology and is by far the most difficult to achieve. How does one persuade patients, physicians, healthcare leaders, regulators, and industrial members of the current healthcare ecosystems to accept this paradigm change in how medicine is practiced?

One clear need is a broad-scale education program to bring an understanding of just what P4 medicine is and how it can be achieved through the Beyond the Human Genome project. A second approach is to offer viable solutions to each of the five largest challenges of contemporary medicine - quality, ageing population, exploding chronic diseases, racial equity and excessive costs. The 10-year demonstration project of Beyond the Human Genome will provide striking new solutions to each of these challenges, as Dr Hood will discuss.