The concept of tailoring medicine based on the specifics of an individual’s genetics has been around for more than a decade. Largely this push was fuelled by the Human Genome Project in the late 90s. In 2006 13 personalised treatment options were available. Fast forward to 2014 and that number had risen to 113. Personalised medicine is becoming more widespread as we see a rise in digital health technologies.
Personalised medicine can be broader; using not just molecular data, but digital phenotypic data to personalise care.
Why personalised medicine?
In lots of ways medicine has always been personal – a physician makes decisions based on their experiences and interaction with a patient. Truly personalised medicine though, is more revolutionary. With personalised medicine we can target treatments to those people we know will benefit the most. This will reduce waste, and lead to better outcomes for patients.
How can RWE be integrated into personalised medicine?
There has been a recent proliferation of electronic health information generated by patients directly. Everything from medical records to fitness trackers and mobile phone apps can be used as information sources to improve care.
In recent years, RWE has been used to speed up the approvals process – this is the most common application of RWE in the pharma world currently.
Over the coming years, RWE could be used as a control arm in trials. This would reduce the burden of cost that clinical trials bring, and accelerate them too. As well as speeding up and cheapening trials, the use of digital technologies could improve patient retention.
Previously, the future vision for personalised medicine was based on the model above. If the sphere of real world data collection continues to expand as it has over recent years, it’s fair to expect that a diagnostic test will no longer be needed before a specific medicine is selected. Maybe we’ll see diagnostic test morphing into data downloads from apps? Wherever this sector moves in the future – it’s clear that adding RWE into the existing genomic expertise we’ve gathered over the years, could be a real recipe for success