Human Performance Optimization and Precision Performance: The Future of Special Operations Human Performance Efforts

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    Russell A, Deuster PA 17(1). 80 - 89 (Journal Article)

    The Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) was launched by the White House to promote individualized medicine. Although the focus of the PMI is on curing disease, we introduce the concept of Precision Performance (P2)- advances that might "enable a new era of human performance optimization through research, technology, and policies that empower warfighters and those who support them to work together toward development of individually optimized performance" (The White House, 2015). We provide a limited review of the current state of the science in human performance optimization (HPO) and show that averages among individuals can be both misleading and potentially counterproductive. Several examples where individual differences have historically presented challenges to HPO research and application are provided, as are ideas on how such differences might be leveraged to enable new opportunities to approach the goal of individually optimized human performance. We end with a few questions likely to be of increasing importance if the notion of P2 continues to evolve and mature; we also provide limited recommendations, given this is a nascent concept. The Special Operations Forces human performance programs can move the science forward by considering and then implementing the infrastructures, processes, and approaches to best identify and exploit emerging tools for ever greater and faster P2 data collection, analyses, sharing, and applications.

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