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Personalized Medicine, Part 1: Impediments that we must first overcome

January 11, 2012
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Personalized Medicine may now have advanced to a place that lies outside the realm of practical implementation within our lifetime


Personalized Medicine may now have advanced to a place that lies outside the realm of practical implementation within our lifetime.

As it stands to day, research efforts to incorporating patient’s molecular and genetic data into vendors Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems, is one of the most funded areas of research that aims to develop Personalized Medicine care to a growing population of patients. This will without a doubt enable clinicians to have the critical information for selecting tailored treatments than can greatly improve each patient’s survival. But will we realized this within this decade? Will Pharmaceutical; our government; hospitals; EMR developers/vendor and other healthcare and drug entities work collaboratively sans duress?

According to the National Cancer Institute, personalized medicine is “a form of medicine that uses information about a person’s genes, proteins, and environment to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease”. The application of informatics (biomedical and clinical) methods and techniques and the domains of combined applications that defined this effort; in areas of molecular data, healthcare technology, clinical informatics and tissues genetic data through imaging informatics, will also play an important role in the development of personalized medicine systems that will eventually supports the integrations of genetic data into existing electronic medical records, in a meaningful way and with meaningful use. Getting the collaboration of professionals within these domains is turning out to be a mountainous challenge. For example, I seen how professionals have introduced their own challenges of adopting personalized medicine surrounding these many domains. Additionally, research work within the past two years are also emphasizing the ongoing complexity of challenges and limitations that still exist today among and within these domains.

The basic principles and theory of personalized medicine is for existing EMR systems to support the integration of DNA-based genetic testing results in a cognitive way so that clinicians can be able to interpret and understand how patient’s genetics results related to their existing conditions. More importantly, the combined presentation of patient’s health and genetic information must be in such a way as to clearly represent only the information that is relevant to the particular patient disease. So with that said, one can imagine the many challenges that apply across the informatics domains mentioned above. In my perception, personalized medicine research, developments and implementations are been hampered by;

1.     The lack of integration of current genetic data and knowledge into existing EMRs,

2.     Clinicians ability to understanding and interpret molecular genetic data as it related to particular patient disease and

3.     The interoperability challenges between existing and new medical systems and platforms.

4.     The lack of collaboration and transparency among professional across the different domains

The unfortunate result is that these domains of informatics are directly related to the development and successful implementation of personalized medicine. I intend to let you understand and grasp how these areas of work, needing to make personalized medicine a reality are ineluctably linked to its success and implementation.




Michael, I believe that one of the biggest impediment in Personalized Medicine development is when researchers and other healthcare companies/professionals classify innovations and new inventions in healthcare and research as proprietary, just to keep it secret. I cant agree with you more.

This is mostly for financial gain. If no one else have the information then it can be leverage as a financial advantage. When a medical or research company discover new methods and it is kept a secret, no patient benefits from it and over time the value of that discovery is lost until another person, scientist or company rediscovers that method. By then many years has past and personalized medicine is set back years.