Will medical care and public health be radically transformed by precision, personalized medicine?

Seven Questions for Personalized Medicine

Companion diagnostics lab image
Will medical care and public health be radically transformed by prevention and treatment programs more closely targeted to the individual patient? Companion diagnostics lab image by QIAGEN.

Personalized or precision medicine maintains that medical care and public health will be radically transformed by prevention and treatment programs more closely targeted to the individual patient. These interventions will be developed by sequencing more genomes, creating bigger biobanks, and linking biological information to health data in electronic medical records (EMRs) or obtained by monitoring technologies. Yet the assumptions underpinning personalized medicine have largely escaped questioning.

The Journal of the American Medical Association stimulate a more balanced debate by posing seven questions for the advocates of personalized medicine:

  1. DOES THE HUMAN GENOME CONTRIBUTE TO DISEASE RISK PREDICTION?
  2. WILL GENE-BASED DRUG TARGETING AND DEVELOPMENT FULFILL ITS PROMISE?
  3. WHAT WILL EMRS CONTRIBUTE?
  4. WHAT KINDS OF STUDIES SHOULD BE MOUNTED IN PERSONALIZED MEDICINE?
  5. HOW SHOULD INSTITUTIONAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST BE MANAGED IN PERSONALIZED MEDICINE?
  6. HOW WILL PERSONALIZED MEDICINE AFFECT THE COSTS OF MEDICAL CARE?
  7. WHERE IS THE PUBLIC HEALTH BENEFIT?

Read Seven Questions for Personalized Medicine,
JAMA, doi:10.1001/jama.2015.7725, Published online June 22, 2015.

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