Journal of Personalized Medicine

Precision health economics and outcomes research to support precision medicine: Big data meets patient heterogeneity on the road to value

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The “big data” era represents an exciting opportunity to utilize powerful new sources of information to reduce clinical and health economic uncertainty on an individual patient level. In turn, health economic outcomes research (HEOR) practices will need to evolve to accommodate individual patient-level HEOR analyses. We propose the concept of “precision HEOR”, which utilizes a combination of costs and outcomes derived from big data to inform healthcare decision-making that is tailored to highly specific patient clusters or individuals. To explore this concept, we discuss the current and future roles of HEOR in health sector decision-making, big data and predictive analytics, and several key HEOR contexts in which big data and predictive analytics might transform traditional HEOR into precision HEOR. The guidance document addresses issues related to the transition from traditional to precision HEOR practices, the evaluation of patient similarity analysis and its appropriateness for precision HEOR analysis, and future challenges to precision HEOR adoption. Precision HEOR should make precision medicine more realizable by aiding and adapting healthcare resource allocation. The combined hopes for precision medicine and precision HEOR are that individual patients receive the best possible medical care while overall healthcare costs remain manageable or become more cost-efficient.