Sous vide cooking introduced the concept of precision cooking to many home chefs. When you cook sous vide — or under a vacuum — you heat water to a precise temperature to cook food in a vacuum-sealed bag. Stanford University School of Medicine‘s Humanwide project combines multiple technologies with a primary care team approach to predict and prevent disease on a highly individualized basis: a process called “precision health.”

The Stanford Humanwide pilot program incorporates genetics, mobile devices, and health coaching working in conjunction with a care team that includes a primary care physician, a nutritionist, a clinical pharmacist, and a behavioral health specialist. Patients receive genetic assessments and pharmacogenomic screening to take into account how the patient is likely to respond different medications. Individuals in the program also use mobile devices including a glucometer, a pedometer, weight scale, and blood pressure cuff. Results are uploaded to the patients’ electronic health records for health care team remote monitoring. Patients also work with a health coach to set wellness goals and track their progress.

The Humanwide project reaped significant specific patient benefits in the pilot program. The project resulted in medication changes, identifying patients in very high risk of breast cancer, and discovering early diabetes and hypertension. In one case a patient was found to have masked hypertension. Patients and care team members alike reported positive reactions to the high level of interaction and engagement through the process.

Stanford Health Care president and CEO David Entwistle commented on the project’s mindset shift to proactive wellness care and prevention with precision medicine rather than the traditional medical model of waiting to react when a patient gets sick.