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The Need for Humanomics in the Era of Genomics and the Challenge of Chronic Disease ManagementThe Need for Humanomics in the Genomics Era

J. Mark FitzGerald, MD; Iraj Poureslami, PhD
Author and Funding Information

From the Institute for Heart and Lung Health, The Lung Centre, Vancouver General Hospital and The University of British Columbia.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: J. Mark FitzGerald, MD, Institute for Heart and Lung Health, The Lung Centre, Vancouver General Hospital, 2775 Laurel St, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1M9, Canada; e-mail: mark.fitzgerald@vch.ca


FINANCIAL/NONFINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: The authors have reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2014;146(1):10-12. doi:10.1378/chest.13-2817
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We are in the midst of a revolution in human biology, with our understanding of the evolution of transition from health to disease being decoded daily. Proteomics to genomics beckon as harbingers of a nirvana-like state where our maladies will be analyzed to such a degree that prognosis and treatment options will be available on an individualized level. As newer diagnostic and imaging technologies emerge, the art of history taking and clinical examination risks becoming redundant. Despite the undoubted promise of the new technologies, fundamental behavioral issues will still need to be addressed. It is unlikely that we will discover a gene that identifies those more at risk for nonadherence or that provides a marker for the presence of a low level of health literacy. Likewise, as transglobal migration creates multicultural and ethnic communities, behavioral and cultural issues will also require a different lens in creating models of care, especially those affected by the emerging global burden of chronic disease. This perspective argues the hypothesis that despite the promise of new technology, there will remain a need for an acknowledgment of behavioral perspective best described as a humanomics perspective.

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