About Publications

Publications from the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes We Treat You (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Released: November 08, 2013
    The sequencing of the human genome has greatly accelerated the process of linking specific genetic variants with disease. These findings have yielded an increasing number of molecular diagnostic tests designed to guide disease treatment and management. Many of these tests are aimed at determining the best treatments for certain cancers, making oncology a valuable testing ground for the use of molecular diagnostic tests in medicine in general. However, many questions surround the clinical value of molecular diagnostic tests and their acceptance by clinicians, payers, and patients has been unpredictable. The IOM and Center for Medical Technology Policy held a workshop to discuss evidence needs for informed clinical and health policy decision making regarding molecular diagnostics that are used to guide the treatment and management of patients with cancer.
  • Released: October 30, 2013
    Despite growing awareness of sports-related concussions and campaigns to educate athletes, coaches, physicians, and parents of young athletes about concussion recognition and management, confusion and controversy persist in many areas. The IOM and the National Research Council formed an expert committee to review the science of sports-related concussions in youth from elementary school through young adulthood, as well as in military personnel and their dependents. The report finds that while some studies provide useful information, much remains unknown about the extent of concussions in youth; how to diagnose, manage, and prevent concussions; and the short- and long-term consequences of concussions as well as repetitive head impacts that do not result in concussion symptoms.
  • Released: October 15, 2013
    Health literacy is the product of the interaction between individuals’ capacities and the health literacy-related demands and complexities of the health care system. Systematic changes are needed to better align health care demands with the public’s skills and abilities. In early 2012, members of the IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy published a discussion paper that focused on the attributes of a health literate health care organization or system. To examine what is known about implementation of the attributes of a health literate health care organization, the Roundtable on Health Literacy held a workshop on April 11, 2013.
  • Released: October 07, 2013
    Several provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) offer an unprecedented opportunity to shift the focus of health experts, policy makers, and the public beyond health care delivery to the broader array of factors that play a role in shaping health outcomes. The shift includes a growing recognition that the health care delivery system is responsible for only a modest proportion of what makes and keeps Americans healthy. The IOM Roundtable on Population Health Improvement held a workshop to explore the likely impact on population health improvement of various provisions within the ACA.
  • Released: October 03, 2013
    Neurodegenerative diseases – such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) – are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the United States due to the aging population. Implications of these diseases are grave, both for individual and family quality of life and for healthcare costs. Recent findings have revealed potential commonalities and parallelisms in genetic and cellular mechanisms across neurodegenerative diseases. In 2012, the IOM hosted a workshop to explore commonalities across neurodegenerative diseases and to identify potential opportunities for collaboration across the respective research and development communities.
  • Released: September 30, 2013
    In 2012, the IOM released Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Framework (Phase I: Demonstration of Concept and a Software Blueprint) which offered a framework and proof of concept for a software prototype called SMART Vaccines to account for various factors influencing vaccine prioritization — demographic, economic, health, scientific, business, programmatic, social, policy factors and public concerns. In this report, Ranking Vaccines: A Prioritization Software Tool (Phase II: Prototype of a Decision-Support System) a functional version of SMART Vaccines 1.0 is discussed and elaborated along with its potential application in making decisions about new vaccine development.
  • Released: September 25, 2013
    Every day in the United States, children and adolescents are victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. Despite the serious and long-term consequences for victims as well as their families, communities, and society, efforts to prevent, identify, and respond to these crimes are largely under supported, inefficient, uncoordinated, and unevaluated. A new IOM/NRC report offers recommendations concerning strategies for responding to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States, new legislative approaches, and a research agenda.
  • Released: September 24, 2013
    Clinical research is constantly advancing, although perhaps not fast enough to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities presented. New tools are emerging. While challenges remain, these tools have the potential to accelerate the research process and to allow an approach to clinical research that applies the most appropriate methods given the requirements of the situation. This approach includes the leveraging of the information collected in the process of delivering care to drive processes for new insights and continuous improvement, which is at the heart of a learning health system. An IOM workshop, sponsored by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, was convened to identify the leading approaches to observational studies, chart the course for the use of this growing utility, and guide and grow their use in the most responsible fashion possible.
  • Released: September 24, 2013
    Despite a robust clinical research enterprise, a gap exists between the evidence needed to support care decisions and the evidence available. Streamlined approaches to clinical research provide options for progress on these challenges. Large simple trials (LSTs), for example, generally have simple randomization, broad eligibility criteria, enough participants to distinguish small to moderate effects, focus on outcomes important to patient care, and use simplified approaches to data collection. Significant opportunities, including the wide-spread adoption of electronic health records, could accelerate the potential for the use of LSTs to efficiently generate practical evidence for medical decision making and product development. To address these opportunities, as well as challenges, the IOM held a workshop to highlight the pros and cons of the design characteristics of LSTs, explored the utility of LSTs on the basis of case studies of past successes, and considered the challenges and opportunities for accelerating the use of LSTs in the context of a U.S. clinical trials enterprise.
  • Released: September 04, 2013
    In response to a request from DHS, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council hosted a workshop June 25-26, 2013, that explored alternative cost-effective systems that would meet the requirements for a BioWatch autonomous detection system for aerosolized agents. The workshop, which was catalyzed by five commissioned white papers, considered the advantages and disadvantages of several technologies—nucleic acid signatures, immunoassays and protein signatures, genomic sequencing, and mass spectrometry — and the timeframe in which an integrated autonomous biodetection system using these technologies might be deployed. Additionally, the features and capabilities of an autonomous detection system that would be of value to public health officials and decision makers were discussed. This document summarizes the workshop.
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