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Ferris, Robertson Research Institute Collaborate on Innovative Research in Precision Medicine

Ferris State UniversityFerris State University and the Robertson Research Institute have announced a new collaboration designed to develop applications of precision medicine in healthcare practices.

Using population-based health outcomes research integrated into academic and practice-based settings, the Robertson Research Institute and Ferris will study innovative technologies in healthcare to address both the readiness of students and practitioners to implement precision behavioral medicine in multiple clinical settings, and the incorporation of mobile technology in health care.

“Our discussions have explored opportunities for students, faculty and practitioners to deliver more effective interventions that integrate much of the work Robertson Health has pioneered to patients and populations,” said Stephen Durst, dean of the College of Pharmacy.

Robertson proprietary precision medicine technology pinpoints the root cause of health events using informatics to identify predictive risk factors, prevalence of various contributing factors and appropriate management strategies. The result is a more accurate assessment of disease risk, appropriate management interventions and effective monitoring strategies, all of which directly target today’s demands to improve the quality of care for individuals, achieving desired outcomes for various populations and controlling the cost of care.

“The opportunity to work jointly with Ferris State University, with its unique combination of healthcare programs, is exciting. It will allow us to engage a broad range of healthcare professionals to validate various interventions designed to improve healthcare outcomes,” said Joel Robertson, founder of the Robertson Research Institute. “Using our extensive history and success in informatics, in combination with our validated approach in evidence based applied behavioral medicine techniques, we will enhance the practices of pharmacists, nurses, optometrists and other providers, directly addressing current needs in the healthcare system.”

The importance of practicality in medicine is significant in the improvement of compliance with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Additionally, optimal performance, relationships and team enhancement in the corporate environment is critical for success. Robertson’s practical work with professional athletes, Fortune 100 executives and in clinical practice has allowed for tailored research related to specific outcomes that benefit the health care system and corporate performance.

“The approach provides two unique organizations with a very strong collaboration to launch this type of practice-based research,” said Thomas Dowling, director of the Ferris’ Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. “It reflects the university’s increasing emphasis on scholarship and discovery.”

Initial steps in the development of the collaboration will highlight the delivery of behavioral medicine to specific populations with achievement of specific outcomes as a focus. By expanding the effort to include several healthcare professions at the University, inter-professional education and practice is also addressed.

“This is an endeavor that will provide students with additional knowledge and skills that are not commonly found in healthcare,” said Kirk Weller, interim associate provost of academic operations.

Collaborative activities were initiated in Summer 2015 with the expansion of efforts planned in the years to come.