The future of healthcare and medicine lies in better personalized disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for the benefit of patients. These improvements are enabled by advancements in life science and data science technologies. Researchers can now more effectively unravel disease mechanisms and treatment strategies by analyzing large, anonymized patient datasets from hospitals, molecular analysis platforms and other sources. Collaborations between scientists and clinicians have intensified in recent years to work towards personalized diagnostics and therapeutics for the benefit of each individual patient. These developments aim to increase treatment efficacy while lowering unwanted side effects.
Professor Detlef Günther, Vice-President for Research at ETH Zurich and Chairman of the PHRT Strategic Committee, stated regarding the conference: “Today, we brought together representatives from hospitals, leading academic institutions, politicians and industry representatives to pave the way to the future of data-driven medicine in Switzerland. This is a unique effort to enhance clinical and scientific collaboration to achieve better medical care for everyone.”
Professor Urs Frey, Medical Director of the University Children’s Hospital Basel and Chairman of the SPHN National Steering Board, added: “This day represents a major milestone in the development of personalized medicine in Switzerland, both for research and for clinical applications. These collective efforts build the foundation to enable patients to receive more and more individualized and better-suited treatments in the near future.”
During the conference, participants discussed the current situation of personalized health and medicine in Switzerland and proposed ways forward to implement data-driven medicine serving patients and healthy citizens in the future.
Personalized Health and Related Technologies (PHRT) is a strategic focus area of the ETH Domain which encompasses six Swiss research institutions: ETHZ, EPFL, PSI, Empa, Eawag and WSL. The goals of PHRT include participating in the ongoing life science revolution that will ultimately transform medicine as it is today into ‘individualized medicine’. In essence, a person’s unique biological makeup will guide decisions on how to maintain and restore health.
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Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is mandated by the Swiss Confederation (State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and the Federal Office of Public Health) to establish coordinated data infrastructures in order to make health-relevant data accessible, interoperable and shareable for research in Switzerland. SPHN is implemented by the Swiss Academy for Medical Sciences in collaboration with the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.
Contact: Dr. Thomas Geiger, Managing Director SPHN, firstname.lastname@example.org, +41 31 306 92 95 (limited availability on Thursday, 25.08.2022 afternoon)
Personalized health and medicine: Advances in life science and information technology allow researchers to collect and analyze large volumes of health data. This can include clinical data, multi-omics data (e.g., genomics and proteomics), data from biobanks, and health data collected by individuals. These advancements have opened up the possibility to use each patient’s individual molecular makeup and characteristics as a basis for guiding medical decisions, preserving health and improving therapies.