What is Personalized Health?

Given the tremendous amount of health-data available, healthcare and medical decisions should no longer be solely based on population averages but take into account individual patient characteristics, including the variability in genes, molecular biomarkers, environment, and lifestyle.

The aim of personalized medicine is to exploit the potential of different sets of data related to human health: "-omics" data (genomics, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomics etc.), clinical data from hospitals and medical offices, data from biobanks as well as health data collected by individuals themselves ("self-tracking" data).

Personalized medicine aims to use these data for the optimal medical care of each individual - starting with the prevention of disease, to diagnostics and treatment until rehabilitation.

The concept of personalized health goes beyond this aim: the findings from these data will not only benefit individual patients but also the population at large, as they will make it possible to recognize health risks at an early stage and develop appropriate health strategies

Personalized health is increasingly influencing medicine, and the large-scale collection and analysis of health data raise challenging questions for various scientific disciplines, individuals and society as a whole.

Against this background, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (a+) have defined personalized health as the main topic to be jointly addressed by the member bodies over the period 2017–2020.


Fundamentals for the training of health professionals

Convinced that health professionals should have a common base knowledge of personalized medicine, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) has developed a guide for pregraduate, postgraduate and continuing interprofessional education. The publication was conceived as a reference document presenting the current state of knowledge.

The publication is available in French and German.

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