Society of African Journal Editors

Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology

Precision health contributions to public health: An integrative review

Authors: Vineeth Amba, Marina Celly Martins Ribeiro de Souza, Carole Kenner, Carolina Marques Borges

Journal: Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology

Precision health is an all-encompassing term, which can describe a type of care that shows the intersectionality of genomics, precision health or medicine and public health. This integrative review aimed to investigate how precision health strategies could contribute to the public health and improve health-related outcomes among populations. The search strategy included 5 main keywords combined with other 63 descriptors, resulting in 252 potential combinations. A total of 1,576 published articles were retrieved from the search. Fourteen articles met the inclusion criteria. Most addressed health-related outcomes were linked with chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. The analyzed papers also discussed contextual effects and risk factors such as smoking under the scope of precision health and its interfaces with public health. Application of precision health to public health requires more collaborative work; use of science and technology to help individuals achieve better health outcomes is costly, although over time may result in more efficient, cost-effective resource allocation. The downside of it is the risk of excessive focus on genes and technology detrimental to other relevant determinants of health (e.g. social factors). It is important to give the population, government, health providers and other stakeholders equal voice in health innovation discussions. Key words: Precision health, precision medicine, public health, health innovation.