Personalised Medicine from a Nordic Perspective

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  • Introduction to personalised medicine
    • This module will introduce the concept and methods of personalised medicine, including terminology and definitions, with emphasis on how the infrastructure of the Nordic countries facilitates developing and implementing personalised medicine in collaboration. Examples of applied personalised medicine in the Nordic countries and unmet needs in common diseases, where personalised medicine can be the way forward, will be described and discussed.
  • Health information used in personalised medicine
    • The module describes what kind of information is useful to tailor the care of individuals, with focus on the potential of health data that is already collected, and the benefits of using such “real-life” data compared to clinical guidelines based on evidence from randomised clinical trials, but also the importance for data “cleaning” to increase the usefulness of such data. Data analysis is key to unfold the potential of collected health data and the module introduces data science as a tool to apply data-driven clinical decision making and thus personalised medicine.
  • Biomarkers, genetics, and omics
    • The module describes definitions and identification of biomarkers and how these can be applied in precision medicine, as this part of personalised medicine is often referred to today. Genetics have a fundamental role in personalised medicine, and the students are expected to have a basic understanding of terminology, definitions and methodology, while the focus here is on its use and potential in personalised medicine (other courses can be taken to gain that knowledge basis if needed). A similar approach is taken for the rapidly developing field of ‘omics’ (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics etc), since this field could well fill up a course on its own. Thus, the module describes analyses and interpretation of biomarker, genetic and omics data and their implications for care. In addition it describes how open data sources are used for analyses and interpretation of such data.
  • Evidence and documentation for clinical efficacy of personalised medicine
    • The module will describe and discuss what “evidence” is and the challenges and opportunities and shift in the paradigm that data-driven personalised medicine has introduced. Furthermore, evidence-based medicine including different trial designs and novel trial designs will be described and discussed. The challenge for personalised medicine and novel trial designs to generate good enough evidence for clinical implementation is discussed from a clinical and legal perspective. Finally, the innovation pipeline from research to clinical practice is also described and discussed.
  • Communication in personalised medicine
    • The module will introduce, describe and discuss risk – a cornerstone in personalised medicine. How is risk calculated, communicated, inferred and interpreted? Furthermore, patient-centered care – a complement to personalised medicine – and the pro’s and con’s of screening for diseases will be described and discussed.Finally, the role of the media for the hype and horror sometimes introduced by novel healthcare technologies will be discussed.
  • Ethical, legal and social aspects of personalised medicine
    • The module will introduce and discuss the ethical and social aspects of personalised medicine in research, clinic and society as well as its impact on health economy and prioritisation. The legislation and regulation of personalised medicine in the Nordic countries will be described and discussed. Furthermore, the industry interest in and collaboration on health data and biologic material will be described and discussed focusing on challenges, possibilities and perspectives. Finally, the module concludes on future perspectives for personalised medicine in the Nordic countries.