Computer program could 'revolutionize the world's health care'
Working with a number of partners, the academics have been awarded funds from a huge European research programme to create "virtual patients" computational models of individual people which could lead to everyone having their own individually-tailored health system based on their genetic and physiological make-up.
Under the system, doctors would be able to have an instant, in-depth knowledge of an individual patient's health needs and medical history at their fingertips.
This will allow GPs to correctly and quickly diagnose illnesses and conditions, saving patients from potentially-deadly side effects of wrongly-prescribed medicines and saving huge amounts of money on drugs.
The University of Manchester researchers are part of a pan-European, 10-year project, called IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM), costing 1bn. This project has been allocated 1.5m preliminary funding.
A consortium of more than 25 academic institutions and industrial partners with expertise in ICT, the life sciences, public health and medicine have come together to begin the process of bringing the project to life.
As it progresses, even more partners will come on board, ultimately making this one of the largest collaborative endeavours since the Apollo space programme.
A vast array of ICT developments must take place in order to make this medicine of the future a reality. This will include new techniques for the rapid acquisition and evaluation of patient data, dynamic storage and processing of real time patient data into relevant mathematical models and the development of new systems that can learn, predict and inform.
These are needed to provide healthcare professionals and patients with unprecedented insights into matters of health and treatment.
The first goal is to give each GP the power to use a person's individual genome to inform every stage of disease management through diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. This will require a revolution in ICT technologies so that relevant computing, storage, networking and modelling technologies are developed;
The IT systems will create mathematical models using vast amounts of data our knowledge to date about how humans work.
ITFoM will also provide scenarios such as what would happen if a patient takes a certain medicinal drug, what would happen if they started running three times a week?
Through genome sequencing and clinical information gathered, the general model will be able to be adapted to suit the particular health demands of any individual, including such issues as allergies, congenital defects and current treatment.
ITFoM was set up as it was felt that, while IT and computing played a large role in many commercial scientific areas, its potential power to revolutionise medicine has not yet been realised.
Professor Hans Westerhoff, who is leading the Manchester part of the project, believes computer models will fundamentally change the way healthcare is provided.
He added: "ITFoM will make general models of human pathways, tissues, diseases and ultimately of the human as a whole. These models will then be used to identify personalised prevention and therapy schedules, and the side effects of drugs.
"The models will be there to help diagnose a particular problem and provide solutions. Obviously this would need to be done in conjunction with a person's GP depending on the gravity of the situation.
"Making personalised medicine a reality will thus require fundamental advances in the computational sciences.
"It promises to be unique and ground-breaking because people could access their own health model. It is intended to be a large, straightforward system which can also inform treatment regimes.
"This is the first time that huge IT systems looking at individual care will be combined with genomics and medical needs."
Professor Norman Paton, Head of the School of Computer Science, added: "The IT Future of Medicine project provides an exciting opportunity to bring together and build upon advances in medical, biological and computational sciences.
"The greatest opportunities to improve outcomes in medicine seem likely to come from personalised medicine, the biological sciences are providing the insights required to support informed personalisation, and advanced computational techniques are essential for making sense of the data that informs decision making.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to bring together advances from these three rapidly developing areas to bring about a paradigm shift in medical practice."
Provided by University of Manchester
- Assembling the virtual human Jun 29, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Free, open virtual laboratory for infectious diseases Jun 04, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- By reducing disease risk, 'Desktop Medicine' will transform the practice of medicine Nov 10, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Virtual lung models set to personalize asthma and COPD treatment May 03, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- 454 Life Sciences and Baylor College of Medicine complete sequencing of DNA pioneer Jun 01, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Research shows that the earlier the age at which youth take their first alcoholic drink, the greater the risk of developing alcohol problems. Thus, age at first drink (AFD) is generally considered a powerful predictor of ...
Health 9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
One quarter of British lawmakers believe there is an "unhealthy" drinking culture in the Houses of Parliament, according to a survey published on Friday.
Health 14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found that the race and sex of study personnel can influence a patient's decision on whether or not to participate in clinical research.
Health 15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The processes to allow people to self-manage their own illness are not being used appropriately by health professionals to the benefit of their patients, new research suggests.
Health 15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Control of heart disease risk factors varies widely among outpatient practices, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2013.
Health 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
58 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(AP)—A woman who lost both hands, her left leg and right foot after contracting a flesh-eating disease has been fitted with prosthetic hands.
53 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The neural machinery underlying our olfactory sense continues to be an enigma for neuroscience. A recent review in Neuron seeks to expand traditional ideas about how neurons in the olfactory bulb might encode information about ...
11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—What if the quality of your work depends more on your focus on the piano keys or canvas or laptop than your musical or painting or computing skills? If target users can be convinced, they ...
12 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
9 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
In order to avoid harms associated with alcohol consumption, in 2009 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism issued guidelines that define low-risk drinking. These guidelines differ for men and women: no more ...
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |