The way things currently stand in the medical landscape; physicians often have to test out a number of treatments and medications on any one patient, before “hopefully” finding one that has an effect. These processes squander both time and medication, and potentially endanger patients. This process can also cause them to become sick as the time past or having negative reactions to some drugs. In the future of medicine, however, all that experimenting may no longer be necessary. The ITFoM (IT Future of Medicine) project, which consists of a consortium of 25+ member organizations, is presently in development of a solution. They are developing a system in which each person would have a computer representation or model of themselves. This model would also incorporate that persons own unique genome sequence. With that information, doctors could then administer simulations with the model and see how various treatments would work out, before trying the treatment on the actual patient.
Health Care System Could Incorporate Computer Modeling of Humans
Looking at the current place that technology is, it’s needless to say, technology has to advance more before it could become relatively easy to map individual’s genome sequences. So in order to thrust innovation forward and to make this happen, ITFoM is currently requesting for 1 billion euros (1.5 billion dollars) in funding. This request is currently proposed to the European Future and Emerging Technologies flagship plan. ITFoM has now already received 1.5 million euros (2.2 million dollars) in preliminary funding for this project. ITFoM predicts that once this ten year project builds up momentum, more organizations will want to collaborate. They estimate that the project could become one of the largest collaborative ventures since the Apollo space program.
ITFoM is not stopping at genetic data; each person’s computer model would also incorporate physiological information also. They will include information such as allergies, past and current health issues, injuries, surgeries and present at birth defects. This is some of the same information that is currently part of individual’s health records. Physicians would not only be able to virtually assess different treatments and medications on particular patients, but they could also asses how modification of diet and exercise might affect them.
In order to bring this project to widespread usage, scientists will have to make great progress in high-speed data acquisition and evaluation. They will also need to understand more thoroughly how to quickly process that data into mathematical models and store mass amounts of that data dynamically. The results of this discovery will be massive, and will transform the way we understand health care today.
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