Posted on March 20, 2016

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), recently announced that a ‘Precision Medicine’ forum will be presented during its 2016 conference, taking place from 29th to 30th November in Doha, Qatar.

WISH is a meeting point for thousands of high-level policymakers, academics, and professionals, and it has evolved into a key platform for the dissemination of healthcare innovation and best practices. It is closely aligned with QF’s mission to reinforce Qatar’s pioneering role as an emerging centre for healthcare innovation. Precision medicine (PM) tailors healthcare to account for variables in each patient’s genes, environment, lifestyle, and other factors. It represents the cutting-edge of treatment and policy, in contrast to the one-size-fits-all approaches of the past.

Professor Victor Dzau, President of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, will chair the forum. He said: “The field of precision medicine is rapidly advancing and will have a major impact on the practice of medicine. However, scientific and technological progress does not guarantee that the benefits of PM will reach the general public. Furthermore, there is concern that PM will only increase complexity, drive up costs, and increase inequity.”

WISH announces Precision Medicine 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpg“In order to maximise the impact of PM, every PM innovation must provide evidence it will lower costs and improve outcomes, and is better than the current standard of care. This requires health outcomes and economic analysis both short and long term. Regulatory and payment frameworks should be developed to evaluate and incentivise cost-effective PM innovations. The WISH Precision Medicine forum is the perfect arena to address these issues and facilitate policy development to help realise the potential of PM.” 

The WISH report will recommend how PM can be implemented based on the expertise of those at the forefront of its practice and development. The crucial measurable results for PM – patient outcomes and lowered costs – will be discussed, as well as how those can be incentivised within healthcare systems.

The report will address the benefits of cross-referencing relevant data. Properly analysing the full breadth of information gathered by health systems has produced unexpected advances in both practice and policy. Guided by the principles of PM, developing the collection and analysis of such data could reveal even better methods to improve healthcare. In addition, the report will delve into the ever-present legal, ethical, and social concerns surrounding data collection, and will suggest how PM can be supported and funded at the system level, leveraging public-private partnerships to create sustainable, effective change.

Egbert Schillings, CEO of WISH, remarked: “Traditional medical care has leveraged a one-size-fits-all approach to delivering health. However, with personal genome sequencing costing less than $1,000 and continuous advancements in technology, precision medicine is becoming a primary area of innovation. The WISH Precision Medicine forum report draws upon some of the best minds in modern healthcare to show how health systems can help deliver on that promise faster for the benefit of their populations.”

The WISH 2016 Summit will feature seven groundbreaking research forums that highlight and address some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges. In addition to Precision Medicine, the forums will generate interdisciplinary, evidence-based reports on topics including Healthy Populations, Economic Benefits of Investing in Health, Cardiovascular Disease, Accountable Care, Autism, and Behavioural Insights. Internationally-renowned experts will chair the forums. For the first time, WISH will also report on its ongoing impact locally and globally on issues previously highlighted at the summit, such as diabetes and patient safety.

The summit will also feature innovation showcases from around the world that are shaping the design, delivery, and financing of care, as well as a cohort of young innovators; emerging healthcare leaders under the age of 30, whose contributions to global health deserve wider recognition.

For further information about WISH, please visit www.wish-qatar.org and Twitter @WISHQatar.

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