The value of data in personalised precision medicine

The risk of suffering from a disease and the probability of response to medical treatments are conditioned by our genetics as well as the environmental factors to which we are exposed as a result of our environment and lifestyle. The integration of genomic data and other omics sciences with the clinical dataset of the patient and their environment allows for clinical practice adapted to the particular characteristics of each patient, in what is called Personalized Precision Medicine (PPM). However, its widespread application poses significant challenges.

The data currently handled in healthcare are highly complex, heterogeneous and must always remain confidential. We can now obtain large volumes of data related to different aspects that condition the health of individuals which, thanks to technological advances, can be integrated with other data that were previously either not taken into account or could not be analysed. The ability to process large volumes of data and find patterns or relationships between variables where traditional statistical methods and human capacity do not reach, is making it possible to increase the accuracy of diagnoses and treatments.

This is why the design of new computational tools and infrastructures that have the capacity to make use of this data with minimal human intervention is becoming very important. The analysis of health data with AI tools, IoT, decision support systems (DSS) and MHealth will play a fundamental role in shaping the medicine of the future.

This new reality represents a paradigm shift in healthcare; medicine will have to focus more on knowledge of the patient than on knowledge of the disease itself, making use of data obtained from heterogeneous data sources, from medical records to monitoring sensors, including omics data, configuring care that enables early diagnosis and personalised treatment plans.

To achieve this goal, in addition to continuing to advance knowledge about diseases, we must have an appropriate legal framework, foster alliances between the different healthcare agents, promote technological development and telemedicine, enable greater patient empowerment and evaluate the health outcomes of innovations.

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