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Personalized health

Advances at the interface between biomedicine and IT are leading to rapid growth in the amount of health data that is available. Personalized health uses this data to identify disease risks earlier, to tailor medical treatments to the characteristics of individual patient groups and to optimize public health strategies.

For science and society

While the growing quantity of health data offers major opportunities for medical research and public health, the collection, storage and analysis of data raise numerous questions about quality, security and ownership as well as the key issues of comparability and interoperability. Against this background, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have defined personalized health as a strategic topic to be jointly addressed by the member bodies over the period 2017–2020.

Swiss Personalized Health Network

The Swiss federal authorities identified the opportunities and challenges of personalized health and in 2017 launched the national funding initiative “Swiss Personalized Health Network” (SPHN) with the aim of promoting Education, Research and Innovation (ERI). The mission of the SPHN is to create an infrastructure that will connect medical data from partner institutions (hospitals with research centres, universities etc.). The SAMS assumes organizational, legal and financial responsibility for establishing the SPHN.

Personalized health under discussion

Do I want to know my risk of having a heart attack? Should I make my health data available to research?  And who will be allowed access to this data? With questions like these, the Academies - under the auspices of Science et Cité - have invited the public to engage in a dialogue. As part of the project “The made-to-measure person: personalized health”, online questions could be answered and public dialogue events could be attended in German- or French-speaking Switzerland.  The brochure “Personalized health under discussion” provides a picture of the opinions of the population group concerned.

lic. phil. Valérie Clerc

Secretary General SAMS
House of Academies
Laupenstrasse 7
P.O. Box
3001 Bern

Switzerland