Home 5 Clinical Diagnostics Insider 5 Orgs Plan for Personalized Medicine Growth over Next Few Years

Orgs Plan for Personalized Medicine Growth over Next Few Years

by | May 16, 2016 | Clinical Diagnostics Insider, Diagnostic Testing and Emerging Technologies, Testing Trends-dtet

From - Diagnostic Testing & Emerging Technologies Health care experts predict growth and maturation happening in the field of personalized medicine in the next two… . . . read more

By Lori Solomon, Editor, Diagnostic Testing & Emerging Technologies

Health care experts predict growth and maturation happening in the field of personalized medicine in the next two years, according to “Healthcare Gets Personal,” a report Oxford Economics (United Kingdom) released last month. However, respondents also see meaningful challenges that need to be addressed, including refinement of payment and regulatory models, improved data sharing, and revamping workforce skills.

“For personalized medicine to thrive, organizations need to take a tactical approach to its development,” write the report’s authors. “They must figure out the basic economic framework and funding flows, adapt to an emerging regulatory structure that reflects the realities of this new approach, and navigate cultural issues around patient empowerment, institutional cooperation, and privacy.”

The university-affiliated economic forecasting firm Oxford Economics surveyed 120 health care professionals from research, industry, and clinical organizations in Europe and North America. Each participant had a meaningful organizational responsibility in personalized medicine. Specifically, eight countries were represented with an equal number of respondents from North America and Europe. Half of participants were from a hospital, teaching hospital, or university medical research institution, while one-third were from industry (either pharmaceutical or biotechnology company).

Buoyed by high-visibility programs like the Obama administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative, investment in personalized medicine is occurring throughout clinical and research organizations, as well as in private industry. The survey found that over two-thirds of respondents say personalized medicine will have an impact on their organization in the next two years. This impact is anticipated on multiple fronts. Clinically, 38 percent of respondents say that their personalized medicine program now focuses primarily on common cancers, but in two years respondents believe diabetes and neurological diseases will become larger focus areas.

Financially, Oxford Economics reports that participants voiced “optimism” about revenue growth in personalized medicine and potential profitability over the next two years. Over two-thirds of survey respondents expect changing payment models to have an impact on their organization in two years, up from 48 percent today.

Respondents said that investment in Big Data analytics was their organization’s greatest financial priority related to personalized medicine (44 percent) followed closely by investment in predictive analytics, Big Data capture and storage, tools for sharing across departments and organizations, and other collaboration tools. This investment can be constrained, however, by talent shortages to manage the ongoing informational technology needs.

“Big-name, urban health systems may have access to the talent they need, but competition will be tougher for health systems and labs in less glamorous locations,” write the report authors. “Most organizations are not taking the necessary steps to fill these gaps; most strategies are minor or short term, with few taking action at the scale needed to reach the required talent pool.”

Workforce issues are just one challenge threatening to slow the progress of personalized medicine adoption. Data sharing and privacy issues are other large concerns.

“While institutions are addressing the issues at a high level, their ability to actually protect sensitive patient information and communicate the new realities to patients remains limited,” concludes Oxford Economics. While nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents say their organizations changed privacy policies to reflect the increasingly personalized nature of research and treatment and 60 percent say they have increased security of patient data, less than one-third (30 percent) of respondents say they are able to protect the identity of individual patients in personalized trials. Additionally, just over one-third (36 percent) report that privacy standards differ across jurisdictions, which potentially disrupts their organization’s personalized medicine strategy.

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