Introducing Humanwide, a Pilot Program to Predict and Prevent Disease

Stanford Medicine is building on its commitment to precision medicine with new research from its most innovative initiative to-date: Humanwide. This first-of-its-kind pilot program is personalizing health care by combining cutting-edge biomedicine with a team-based approach that treats the whole patient based on factors ranging from genetics to lifestyle. Lead investigator Megan Mahoney, MD, chief of primary care, says the project is particularly unique because it focuses on the “whole human,” which allows clinicians to “zero in on what matters to a patient, and subsequently, craft an “entire care plan around their goals.”

Megan Mahoney, MD, examines Humanwide participant Debbie Spaizman
Steve Fisch

According to the Humanwide website, from January 2018 to December 2018, care teams (composed of a primary care physician, nutritionist, behavioral health specialist and clinical pharmacist at Stanford Medicine’s Primary Care 2.0 clinic) worked with patient participants to create a “comprehensive portrait of their health.” Researchers gathered data from the patients’ wearable devices including a glucometer, pedometer, scale and blood pressure cuff.  Patients also participated in wellness assessments and underwent genetic screenings to gain a better understanding of their propensity for certain diseases. The information gathered was used to create a personalized care plan designed to meet individual health needs, such as losing weight or managing a chronic condition.

A Stanford Medicine press release reports that the program “succeeded in identifying previously undiagnosed conditions and future health risks, setting patients on a path to avert serious medical problems, such as cancer and heart disease.” Mahoney notes that the “opportunity to bring in more data” was instrumental in developing an “unprecedented understanding of patients’ risks.” The findings could transform primary care by shifting focus to a proactive and predictive approach to disease management.

Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine Lloyd Minor, MD, says the ultimate goal of precision medicine at Stanford is to “to predict, prevent and cure — precisely in a clinical setting” and this research represents a major step in realizing this vision.

Learn more here.