The advent of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technology has revitalized the efforts in the past decade to realize more fully the potential of human embryonic stem cells for scientific research. Adding to the possibility of generating an unlimited amount of any cell type of interest, hiPSC technology now enables the derivation of cells with patient-specific phenotypes. Given the introduction and implementation of the large-scale Precision Medicine Initiative, hiPSC technology will undoubtedly have a vital role in the advancement of cardiovascular research and medicine. In this Review, we summarize the progress that has been made in the field of hiPSC technology, with particular emphasis on cardiovascular disease modelling and drug development. The growing roles of hiPSC technology in the practice of precision medicine will also be discussed.