Personalized Medicine

Dr. Yelena Yesha
University of Maryland


Personalized Medicine is the systematic use of individual patientís information to optimize patientís therapeutic care and diagnosis process. Information about patientís clinical, genomic and metabolic characteristics can be used to tailor medical care that meets individualís needs. Preventive or therapeutic interventions can then be focused on those who will benefit, sparing expense and side effects for those who will not. It also classifies individuals into subpopulations that differ in their susceptibility to a particular disease or their response to a specific treatment. The Human Genome Project completed in 2003, a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health have laid the groundwork for the understanding of the roles of genes in normal human development. Personalized medicine with evidence-based approach offers solutions to the treatment of complex chronic diseases like Diabetes in which wide array of factors influence the dynamics of the disease. Pharmacogenomics is an emerging field of personalized medicine that examines the impact of genetic variation on the response to medications. This approach is aimed at tailoring drug therapy at a dosage that is most appropriate for an individual patient, with the potential benefits of increasing the efficacy and safety of medications. However, an ever-growing gap exists between accumulating knowledge derived from basic scientific and clinical research, new molecular mechanisms, genomic details, recent medical and therapeutic guidelines and its use at the bed-side by the practitioner. The data being heterogeneous, integration all the information present in various databases is a challenging task. To add to the efforts of resolving this issue, we propose to develop a Web-based clinical decision support system that will enable the physician to personalize in real time, at the point of care, for the specific patient. The patient will also have a timely access to the relevant knowledge. This system will allow prediction of a high risk patient requiring immediate attention with an optimal drug therapy using evidence based knowledge. Thus maximizing over all quality of assistance provided to the patient.