Pain Points, Unmet Needs, and Disruption in Precision Medicine – Part 1

August 25, 2021
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DeciBio’s mission is to provide market intelligence and strategic insights that drive disruption and innovation in the precision medicine and life science industry. To this end, my colleague, Colin Enderlein, and I conducted internal research to address two questions that are constantly top-of-mind:

  1. What are key pain-points and unmet needs in the precision medicine ecosystem today and how do these translate into opportunities for precision medicine stakeholders?
  2. What are potential scenarios for the evolution of the precision medicine landscape and what are the potential implications for various stakeholders in each of these scenarios?

To answer these questions we developed the precision medicine subway map below (click to enlarge), focusing on precision oncology, and used this visual to guide interviews with stakeholders from various branches (e.g., drug development, diagnostics development, patient journey, care team journey, RWD/E management) asking them to identify and elaborate on which nodes on this map represent the biggest pain points and unmet needs, and to weight them according to the severity of the pain / need. Interviewees also highlighted the nodes / branches where they expect to see the biggest changes in the mid-long term.

Precision Medicine Landscape Map
DeciBio Precision Medicine Landscape Map

We’ve aggregated this feedback and generated the interactive precision oncology pain point map below, summarizing interviewee feedback and analysis on each of the key pain points (click on the node(s) of interest to see the interviewee feedback and pain weighting):

<a href='#'><img alt=' ' src='https:&#47;&#47;;static&#47;images&#47;De&#47;DeciBioPrecisionOncologyPainpointsandUnmetNeedsMap&#47;Dashboard1&#47;1_rss.png' style='border: none' /></a>

Top 5 Precision Medicine Pain Point / Unmet Need Themes

While not a quantitatively rigorous analysis, our research revealed key areas of alignment and consensus on pain points and unmet needs that we believe reflect meaningful opportunities for precision medicine stakeholders to address. As is evident from the data, unmet needs are distributed throughout the precision oncology landscape. From this data, as well as the qualitative feedback from our interviewees, we’ve identified 5 major pain-point / unmet need themes in precision oncology.

  1. The models we use to study cancer and discover new therapies and biomarkers are too simplistic
  2. Precision medicine creates unique, and increasingly challenging, barriers to clinical trial participation
  3. The current commercial and technological health IT infrastructures are fundamentally incapable of enabling of the potential of RWD/E
  4. The tools and methods for educating clinicians on precision medicine are lacking or inadequate
  5. Numerous siloes exist within and between the different branches of the precision medicine landscape impeding progress

Over the next few weeks, Colin and I will be sharing our analyses and additional color from the discussions with our interviewees, elaborating on these pain-point / unmet need themes and discussing potential scenarios for disruption as well as implications for various precision medicine stakeholders. Stay tuned for updates!Special thanks to PlanetConnect and the Companion Diagnostics Forum for inviting us to share this analysis!DeciBio will be at SITC2019 - if you would like to meet with me (Andrew) at SITC, feel free to email me directly at you have any questions or comments about this analysis, please feel free to contact us directly at: or

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