Monday, November 23, 2009

News on personalized medicine



http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/23620/ Craig Venter underscores the caution needed when interpreting genetic tests. While variance is almost non-existant for the number and constituency of the base pairs detected, differences in the patterns of gene expression that are used for analysis give rise to significant differences in intepretation of data. Venter finds the data encouraging for the future of personalized medicine but cautions about inappropriate conclusions to be drawn from data in these early stages of personal genome analysis.
http://www.technologyreview.com/business/23997/page1/A new company, Generation Health attempts to decipher genetic test results to put risk and benefit into perspective for the patient, the doctor, and the pharmacist. This comes hot on the heels of CVS announcement that they will partner with this company to define the most useful tests that may then become available through CVS pharmacies. However, the main target for Generation Health's research is the health insurance industry. The company hopes to create the compelling evidence that will encourage insurers to get behind genetic testing as a way to target medications, for better health outcomes and to reduce costs. A trick to making sense of genomic/genetic/phenotypic information is going to be the application of a robust data analysis system. News on this seems to have been a bit quiet lately so I'm off on a search to see what's going on...
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