White House unveils new medical research initiative

President Barack Obama is proposing a new health initiative on Friday.

Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama on Friday announced the details of his "Precision Medicine Initiative," a proposal aimed at pushing the U.S. to the forefront of cutting edge medical treatments.

The initiative "will leverage advances in genomics, emerging methods for managing and analyzing large data sets" while protecting privacy, according to a fact sheet from the White House. The goal will be to create a easily searchable database of health information that will enable researchers to better pinpoint the exact form of disease a patient suffers from, and create individually-tailored treatment plans.
    Obama has earmarked $215 million in his 2015 budget proposal to support the effort. That includes a $130 million investment for the National Institutes of Health to create a voluntary national research databank that would include a wide range of health information, including genetic data, from 1 million or more Americans.
    The National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology would all play a role in the creation and maintenance of the database as well. And the administration is asking the private sector to get involved, calling on academic medical centers, researchers, foundations, privacy experts, medical ethicists and medical product innovators to "lay the foundation" for the effort.
    NCI in particular is tasked with creating a "cancer knowledge network" to share data and research on new treatments in hopes of finding better treatments for cancer.
    The initiative is likely to be met with skepticism on Capitol Hill, where Republicans remain staunchly opposed to any increases in government spending in Obama's new budget.
    Obama announced the proposal during his State of the Union address, declaring that he wants "the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine  --  one that delivers the right treatment at the right time."
    "I'm launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes  --  and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier," Obama said.