Precision health: emerging innovations for children and adolescents

Precision health holds great potential for every child if the risks of exacerbating current health inequalities can be mitigated

Scientist in the lab working on new precision health technologies for children and adolescents.
UNICEF/Simon Nazer


Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages is a cornerstone of sustainable development. Advances in life sciences, medicine, and technology open opportunities to find new ways of keeping people healthy. 

The emerging field of precision health offers a different model of healthcare, one that considers differences in people’s genes, environments and lifestyles and formulates prevention strategies and treatments based on their unique backgrounds and conditions. Precision health may be predictive, preventive, participatory and personalized and includes next generation diagnostics and therapeutic treatments, including for communicable diseases that are among the top 10 causes of child mortality. 

If precision health is to fulfil its potential, it needs to address the risk of exacerbating current health inequalities and evolve to a vision of health and wellbeing that is inclusive and comprehensive. Practical actions will help precision public health to align with the vision of SDG 3 and amplify its potential for the international development sector. 

UNICEF Innovation
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