Information and communication technology has managed to transform many aspects of modern life. The FET Flagship consortium IT Future of Medicine –ITFoM– proposes to harness the vast potential of ICT to revolutionise human health care. Even though we are obtaining unprecedented amounts of detailed biological data for individual people, we are still unable to turn this information into actual knowledge that helps us in taking medical and lifestyle decisions. By integrating the available biological data we will construct computational models of the biological processes that occur in every human. Since everybody is different, the models will be tailored to each individual to reflect their own unique anatomical, physiological and genetic makeup. As such, ITFoM will lead the way towards truly personalised health care.
At present, the medical doctor typically has less information on his patient than the average car mechanic on the car he is repairing, extracted automatically from the on-board computer.
The medicine of the future will increasingly rely on tera- and petabytes of information on each patient generated by high resolution molecular and imaging techniques. In order to make this information accessible to the consenting patient and his doctor, ITFoM will establish the ICT workflows and structures to integrate the analytical and clinical data of the patient into an individualized model of the patient.
To develop this ICT driven medicine of the future, ITFoM will join three broad technological areas:
- the clinical research from specimen analysis and diagnosis provision to clinical practice and patient consent,
- the analytical techniques, covering functional genomics and imaging technology analyses on a routine basis, and
- the information technology developments required to tackle the immense computational challenges.
At the center, the gathered clinical and analytical data will be integrated into computational models representing the patient and his health status.
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