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Event summary, /

Personalised medicine has become a key topic in EU health debate, with its goal of giving the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. On 27-28 March 2018, the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine & Bulgaria Alliance for Person and Personalised Medicine organised the conference “Personalised Medicine and the Big Data Challenge”. The event pulled together leading experts in the arena drawn from patient groups, researchers, healthcare professionals to industry. The conference aims at highlighting the role of healthcare in creating a Europe that functions optimally and encouraging stakeholder interaction on the potential and realistic possibilities in the personalised medicine age.

With rising healthcare costs and individual health systems being increasingly challenged, personalised medicine and genomics could have the potential to impact the health of all of us and provide diagnostic, economic and efficiency benefits, ensuring that patients receive the right information and the right care. This could ease the burden on healthcare systems and lead to a healthier and, thus, wealthier, Europe.

Among the participants, Dutch MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij remarked: “personalised medicine is not just an idea, it is the new reality. And there is no doubt that genomics has a huge role to play in its development and growth“; while MEP Alojz Peterle, a cancer survivor, spoke about the European Parliament efforts in the field and the activities of Specialised Treatment for Europe’s Patients group of  in the Parliament.

The key guest of the event, Vytenis Andriukaitis remarked the importance of eHealth solution to foster health quality: “Helping Member States to implement digital solutions throughout public health sectors, healthcare and cure systems is an absolute priority for me, personally, and for the Commission.

Still on digital health, the participants discussed Big Data and their role in healthcare. Today the health sector generates immense volumes of clinical, genetic, behavioural and environmental data,  collected through an array of devices. This information offers incredible opportunities for citizens, provided that personal data are protected. The use of Big Data for regulatory decision-making on medicines is not without challenges yet, i.e. the fragmentation of data sources and the lack of accessibility. The European Commission stressed in many occasions that Data economy, together with cybersecurity and online platforms, remain an area where further action is needed. Everyone is now looking forward to the upcoming Communication on digital health and on the announced pilar on health data sharing for research and better health outcome.

All the information on the event are available here.

Conference’s report enclosed below.