Personalizing Environmental Health: At the Intersection of Precision Medicine and Occupational Health in the Military

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Abstract

Recent efforts in precision medicine present unique opportunities for military environmental and occupational health. Risk assessments can be refined by individualized risk factors such as genomics, and health status can be monitored and informed using mobile health (mHealth) devices. The military currently monitors exposures with service-wide databases and has one of the world's largest biobanks of serum samples available for health surveillance. New approaches are being developed for risk assessment, novel exposure-based biomarkers, and mobile applications to combine the facile collection of exposure data with tracking and planning utility. Planning by military leaders and coordination with national efforts puts the Department of Defense (DoD) in a unique position to benefit both Service Members and the nation, as reviewed in a symposium cosponsored by the DoD and the Johns Hopkins University-Applied Physics Laboratory (October 27 to 28, 2015).

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