Steve Debenport /
23 October 2018AmericasDaniel Lim

The future of precision medicine part 3: translation from research to the clinic

The previous instalments in this series ( part 1 and part 2) on the challenges and opportunities faced by precision medicine discussed the capabilities and limitations of precision medicine and the challenges posed by the need for large quantities of diverse, high quality data.

However, as centrally important as data is to the development of precision medicine approaches, the data alone simply lay a foundation that must be built upon through the research and development of new diagnostics, treatments and clinical approaches. In addition, before the benefits of such advances in the lab can be felt out in the world, they must be translated into changes in clinical practice.

This third instalment in the series discusses the practical issues that will need to be addressed along the way.

Translation and disruption

The implementation of precision medicine represents a huge, possibly unprecedented, challenge to conventional clinical practice across the breadth of healthcare disciplines. Integrating the principles of precision medicine will require a paradigm shift in the approach of healthcare professionals (HCPs) to both diagnosis and treatment; one which will require significant investment and fundamental changes to existing systems and ways of thinking in order to fully realise its potential.

While highlighting the need to embrace these new ways of thinking, leading speakers at the Westminster Health Forum (WHF) keynote seminar in December last year suggested that this will not be a simple, easy or painless process.

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