2014/04/11

Personalized Medicine as a challenge


A recent article in Cell reviews the scientific knowledge in the area of Personalized Medicine. Each individual is unique, in molecular terms, as we have distinct genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic... profiles. As companies develop cheaper and quicker techniques to obtain these profiles, we as society will have a great opportunity to transform this information into new diagnosis, prognosis and treatment procedures.

Dr. Eric Topol, the author of the article, is one of the brightest minds in healthcare. As Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, he is probably the main world leader in this transformation. Interestingly, he spreads his views not only over scientists but also over companies, health managers, politicians and the lay public (for example with his book 'The Creative Destruction of Medicine').

    (Eric Topol, during a talk)

Precisely, such a revolutionary process (the change from classic to personalized medicine) will generate, in addition to great advantages, big challenges to every healthcare stakeholder: the patients will become healthier, but they also will need to be informed and educated; there will be novel market opportunities (and several decaying ones) for small companies; big pharmas will try to adapt their schemes to the new paradigm, and finally public and private healthcare systems will be required to make integral modifications or even be re-built. 

The Future of the Medicine will be written in the next few years. There are too many social advantages that might arise with a good utilization of Personalized Medicine, generating individuals with the unseen power to control its health. Potential problems and risks will appear in the path, too. The society demands more pioneering scientists, doctors and politicians like Dr. Topol to guide people in the revolutionary process we are in.



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