Building towards precision medicine: Empowering medical professionals for the next revolution

Scott McGrath, Dario Ghersi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

A new paradigm in disease classification, diagnosis and treatment is rapidly approaching. Known as precision medicine, this new healthcare model incorporates and integrates genetic information, microbiome data, and information on patients' environment and lifestyle to better identify and classify disease processes, and to provide custom-tailored therapeutic solutions. In spite of its promises, precision medicine faces several challenges that need to be overcome to successfully implement this new healthcare model. In this paper we identify four main areas that require attention: data, tools and systems, regulations, and people. While there are important ongoing efforts for addressing the first three areas, we argue that the human factor needs to be taken into consideration as well. In particular, we discuss several studies that show how primary care physicians and clinicians in general feel underequipped to interpret genetic tests and direct-to-consumer genomic tests. Considering the importance of genetic information for precision medicine applications, this is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. To increase the number of professionals with the necessary expertise to correctly interpret the genomics profiles of their patients, we propose several strategies that involve medical curriculum reforms, specialist training, and ongoing physician training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number23
JournalBMC Medical Genomics
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 10 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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