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Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag

03.03.2008 | New publication:

Individualised medicine and the health system

Personalised, predictive and preventive?

Individualised medicine pledges to achieve a better and more cost-effective health care for common diseases of civilisation in the future, because it is more specifically adapted to the individuum. Individualised medicine could penetrate medical practice from prevention to (early) diagnostics as well as therapy and aftertreatment monitoring. A multitude of scientific and technological developments contribute to this trend reaching from genome analysis, molecular imaging, cell therapies with the body's own cells to pharmacogenetics, nutrigenomics and the determination of patient-specific protein expression patterns. They provide new biomarkers and analytic measures to divide patients more precisely or accurately into groups relevant to treatment. In this future report the current status of development and future perspectives of these developments are presented in an integral way and implications are analysed that could arise from an individualised medicine for health care, business enterprises and health insurance. Central challenges are to create appropriate research and health political frameworks that ensure that from the overwhelming mass of biomarkers the ones are being further developed and speedily introduced into health care that really constitute an added value in terms of clinical benefit.