About PHIND at Stanford

The PHIND Center is the first center in the world to focus on precision health and integrated diagnostics. We bring together faculty from all across campus to initiate new collaborations and strengthen existing ones. Additionally, we attract the top scientists and physician-scientists in the world who are focused on building the future of precision health. Our faculty work in areas such as disease risk analytics, biomarkers of health, early molecular changes of cells/tissues transitioning from normal to disease, health economics of diagnostics, and development of new noninvasive ways to detect small molecular changes anywhere within the body using remote sensing. Finally, a key goal is to not only develop and test the strategies in our own community and hospitals, but to launch a new generation of companies that will help to bring the discoveries and inventions at Stanford out for use all over the world to help society at large.

PHIND Leadership

Director, PHIND Center at Stanford

Joseph DeSimone, PhD
Department of Radiology
Phone: (650) 721- 6844
E-mail: jmdesimone@stanford.edu

Deputy Director, PHIND Center at Stanford

Ryan Spitler, PhD
Department of Radiology
3155 Porter Drive
M/C 5483
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 721-3291
E-mail: rspitler@stanford.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the future of Health care look like?

The vision of the PHIND center is to monitor individuals continuously starting from conception through a lifetime of surveillance. Physiological and molecular monitoring will occur in a variety of ways through smart devices and this data will be collected and processed using advanced data analytics, which will provide personalized risk assessment and in doing so will improve our current capabilities in disease prevention and timely intervention. This approach will allow patients to make lifestyle changes to improve their overall health and provide physicians with a wealth of personalized data that can assist with patient care. The overall goal of precision health is to prevent disease from occurring or, if treatment is needed, to begin appropriate interventions at the earliest possible stage of disease.

What is the difference between Precision Health and Precision Medicine?

Precision Health leverages the numerous assessments including omics, immune status, medical imaging, family history, physical condition and standard doctor visits to predict and prevent disease from occurring. Precision Medicine uses similar tools, but is primarily focused on patient treatment after the onset of disease. Both health areas have overlap and are complementary in improving patient care. Precision Health is a way of improving overall lifelong health, while Precision Medicine is generally not implemented until an individual becomes ill.

What is the difference between in vivo and in vitro diagnostics?

In vitro diagnostics are all the tests or measurements that are done in the laboratory on samples collected from the body (saliva, blood, urine). These tests then provide information such as identifying health conditions, disease state and presence of infection. Other types of in vitro diagnostic tests include various omics (genomics, proteomics), which can provide information about a current or potential future health issue. In vivo diagnostics are all the tests and measurements that can be done in or on the body as opposed to being sampled and tested/measured in a laboratory. Examples of in vivo diagnostics include heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and blood sugar levels. These measurements can be made with remote devices and can provide a continuous stream of data. Thus, in vivo diagnostics can be done in real-time whereas in vitro diagnostics require longer processing times, being that sample(s) must be harvested from the body and then tested.

What is the difference between Precision Health and Population Health?

Population Health refers to the health or health outcomes of a group of individuals and this information can be used to improve and learn about the health of a larger or even the entire population. Whereas Precision Health is focused on the health of an individual. However, both Precision and Population Health areas are complementary. The trends of individuals create the average trend of a group, and the trend of a group can be used in conjunction with individual health data to improve the overall predicative capabilities for individual disease prevention and, if needed, early intervention.