Personalised medicine—introduction to the technology
Produced in partnership with Daniel Bouthillier, Ma’n H. Zawati and Yann Joly
Personalised medicine—introduction to the technology

The following Life Sciences practice note Produced in partnership with Daniel Bouthillier, Ma’n H. Zawati and Yann Joly provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Personalised medicine—introduction to the technology
  • What is personalised medicine
  • Personalised medicine—useful definitions
  • Why the move towards personalised medicine?
  • How does your genome impact your health?
  • Direct-to-consumer genetic testing
  • Some ethical issues surrounding genetic testing
  • Genome-wide association studies (GWAS)
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Potential use of genomic information to predict efficacy, adverse reactions and optimal doses of medicines
  • More...

What is personalised medicine

Personalised medicine has existed for quite some time. Physicians have, to varying degrees, adapted treatments to individual patients based on information collected about them. But over the last decade and a half, the advent of systems biology has significantly widened the scope of personalised medicine, which in modern practice relies on acquiring as much data as possible about a given biological system.

The goal of personalised medicine is to interpret collected datasets in a way that improves our understanding of a living system and its pathologies while enabling targeted treatment that is responsive to an individual patient or group of patients. Personalised medicine is often portrayed as medicine that is ‘custom-made’, in opposition to traditional medicine that has a ‘one size fits all’ character. Personalised medicine includes all stages of medical procedure, beginning with diagnosis (often molecular diagnosis using biomarkers) and ending with targeted medicinal treatments. For many, personalised medicine may be defined as the effort of giving the right treatment to the right patient, with the right medicinal product, at the right time, and for the right duration.

But according to some experts, this definition is too restrictive. To them, personalised medicine is not limited to genetic testing, genome sequencing, or particular medicinal products that are responsive to specific biomarkers. Their alternative definition incorporates big data, internet or computer-connected personal medical devices,

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