The Harris Center for Precision Wellness, located within the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, embodies a new paradigm in health and medicine. The Center’s goal is to establish a solid foundation for the realization of Precision Wellness, a highly-personalized and proactive approach for maintaining optimal health and vitality and preventing disease. Towards this goal, the center will harness the recent advances in digital health, genomics, and data science to bring us bringing precision medicine by revealing how individual differences in genes, environments, and lifestyles contribute to complex human diseases, and how to apply these potent technologies to help preserve and enhance wellness.
The Harris Center is the first precision wellness effort at a major academic medical institution. Ready access to the Icahn School of Medicine’s broad clinical and academic research resources is enabling the Center to integrate an unmatched network of research programs and clinical initiatives across the Health System. Additionally, The Icahn Institute of Genomics and Multiscale Biology offers access to world-leading talent in genomics, computational biology, and systems medicine along with highly scalable super-computing infrastructure. This unique environment offers a powerful foundation for the center’s efforts in providing highly individualized, science-based plans that will help people maintain their health and optimize their vitality and wellbeing.
The Center is developing research and technology platforms to find incipient disease well before overt symptoms manifest, to identify the key behavioral and lifestyle issues most relevant to an individual’s health, to monitor people’s health status in real time, and to provide the most appropriate tools to support whatever lifestyle adjustments a person wishes to undertake.
The Harris Center for Precision Wellness is leveraging and advancing technologies from key arenas including:
- Digital Health: Wearable devices, sensors, and mobile apps are creating new opportunities to conveniently measure large amounts of health data in real time to inform wellness-related diagnostics, action plans, and interventions. These emerging technologies can provide ongoing measures of physical activity, stress, sleep quality, cognitive functioning, mood, and even environmental exposures. The Harris Center is rigorously evaluating the capabilities of diverse digital health devices and systems, and is combining them into novel sensing suites that can provide new insights into critical areas of wellness and lifestyle adjustment.
- Molecular Profiling: Genomic sequencing technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to measure an individual’s own unique biology and to personalize approaches to his or her health and vitality. The Harris Center is using the latest sequencing technologies to incorporate broad DNA, microbiome, and immune system profiles, and other potent biomarkers into predictive models of wellness.
- Data Science: Integrating multiple streams of molecular and physiological digital data, identifying novel patterns and relationships within this wealth of information, and extracting actionable insights is a critical challenge of translating information into wellness. The Harris Center is developing and applying state-of-the-science analytics and machine-learning tools and techniques to the development of wellness apps and software platforms that can deliver useful, data-driven insights and intelligence to individuals in a highly personalized and context-specific manner.
The Harris Center for Precision Wellness will identify, develop, validate, and integrate cutting-edge technology that can enhance individual vitality and well-being. The Harris Center ultimately aims to establish a robust foundation for delivering today a cohesive, next-generation healthcare that is science based, scalable, accessible, affordable, and superior to anything presently available.
Foundational funding for The Harris Precision Wellness Center was provided through a generous donation from Joshua and Marjorie Harris.