About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (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.


  • Core Measurement Needs for Better Care, Better Health, and ... Released: June 24, 2013
    Initiatives are under way throughout the nation to improve health care quality, improve the health of the American population, and reduce health care costs. These initiatives take on increased urgency in the face of shortfalls with respect to what is possible in health and health care. Despite spending almost one-fifth of the economy’s output on health care, the quality and safety of care remains uneven. While there are multiple obstacles to improving the nation’s health care system, one essential element for sustained progress is the capacity to reliably and consistently measure progress across all aspects of health and the health care system. To consider these issues, the IOM held a workshop, sponsored by the Blue Shield of California Foundation, to explore in depth the core measurement needs for population health, health care quality, health care costs, and engaged people. An IOM study panel is being developed to build on this work and propose a core measure set.
  • Delivering Affordable Cancer Care in the 21st Century ... Released: February 11, 2013
    Spending on health care currently accounts for 18 percent of the United States’ GDP. By 2037, that percentage is expected to increase to 25 percent of GDP. Spending on cancer care is expected to increase because of the rapid influx of new cancer diagnoses as the population ages. Also, as more expensive therapies and technologies become the standard of care, there are concerns that the costs of cancer treatment could begin to outpace health care inflation as a whole. The IOM held a workshop to examine the drivers of current and projected cancer care costs as well as potential ways to curb these costs while maintaining or improving the quality of care.
  • Improving the Utility and Translation of Animal Models for ... Released: February 08, 2013
    Animal models have provided significant information about the biology of nervous system disorders and have helped in the development of therapeutics; limitations, however, have also been identified. Effective treatment options that are also low in side effects are still lacking for many diseases. Many therapeutics show promise in preclinical animal models but then fail to produce expected results when tested in humans. The IOM held a workshop to discuss potential opportunities for maximizing the translation of effective therapies from animal models to clinical practice.
  • Reducing Tobacco-Related Cancer Incidence and Mortality ... Released: November 01, 2012
    Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, causing more than 440,000 deaths every year. Tobacco use is linked to the development of 18 different types of cancer and accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths. Despite the widespread agreement on the dangers of tobacco use and considerable success in reducing the smoking rate by half since the first U.S. Surgeon General’s report on smoking in 1964, progress in reducing tobacco use has slowed in recent years. The IOM held a workshop to examine current challenges in tobacco control and to explore potential policy, outreach, and treatment strategies that could reduce tobacco-related cancer incidence and death.
  • Digital Data Improvement Priorities for Continuous Learning in ... Released: September 28, 2012
    Digital health data are the lifeblood of a continuous learning health system. A steady flow of reliable data is necessary to coordinate and monitor patient care, analyze and improve systems of care, conduct research to develop new products and approaches, assess the effectiveness of medical interventions, and advance population health. The totality of available health data is a crucial resource that should be considered an invaluable public asset in the pursuit of better care, improved health, and lower health care costs. This publication summarizes discussions at the March 2012 IOM workshop to identify and characterize the current deficiencies in the reliability, availability, and usability of digital health data and consider strategies, priorities, and responsibilities to address such deficiencies.
  • Informatics Needs and Challenges in Cancer Research ... Released: July 16, 2012
    Informatics tools – which help collect, organize, and analyze data – are essential to biomedical and health research and development. The field of cancer research is facing an overwhelming deluge of data, heightening the national urgency to find solutions to support and sustain the cancer informatics ecosystem. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop February 27-28, 2012, to further examine informatics needs and challenges for 21st century biomedical research.
  • International Animal Research Regulations: Impact on ... Released: May 29, 2012
    Animals are widely used in neuroscience research to explore biological mechanisms of nervous system function, to identify the genetic basis of disease states, and to provide models of human disorders and diseases for the development of new treatments. To ensure the humane care and use of animals, numerous laws, policies, and regulations are in place governing the use of animals in research, and certain animal regulations have implications specific to neuroscience research. To consider animal research regulations from a global perspective, the IOM held a workshop that brought together key stakeholders to discuss current and emerging trends in animal regulations as they apply to the neurosciences.
  • Ethical and Scientific Issues in Studying the Safety of ... Released: May 01, 2012
    Prescription drugs are crucial for preventing and treating diseases and improving the public’s health, but they can also have unintended harmful effects. Often, their benefits and risks cannot be fully identified until after a drug has been used by a large, diverse group of patients over time. The passage of the Food and Drug Administration Act in 2007 provides the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with additional postmarketing regulatory tools to better protect the health of the public, including the authority to require manufacturers to continue studying drugs that are being marketed. The FDA asked the IOM to evaluate the scientific and ethical aspects of conducting safety studies for approved drugs. The IOM recommends implementing a life cycle approach to drug safety oversight that could allow the FDA to better anticipate post-approval research needs and improve drug safety for all Americans.
  • The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence ... Released: April 03, 2012
    Recent research suggests that obesity and excess weight can influence cancer survival and recurrence. Given the increasing rate of obesity and an aging population more susceptible to cancer, there is mounting concern about obesity’s role in fueling tumor growth. At an IOM workshop, experts presented the latest evidence on the obesity-cancer link and the possible mechanisms underlying that link, as well as potential interventions to mitigate the effects of obesity on cancer, and research and policy measures needed to counter the expected rise of cancer incidence and mortality due to an increasingly overweight and older population.
  • Alzheimer's Diagnostic Guideline Validation: Exploration of ... Released: February 16, 2012
    Scientific advances over the last decade now indicate that Alzheimer’s disease is a continuous, progressive cognitive disease, most likely beginning many years before dementia is apparent. To discuss the next steps in validating new diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease, the IOM Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders hosted a public workshop session at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.