Towards Individualised Medicine through Medical Technology
At a glance
- The concept of Individualised Medicine is becoming increasingly important in an ageing society where the growing demand for solutions to prevent and treat chronic or multiple diseases is accompanied by calls for a stronger focus on patients as individuals.
- Innovations in medical technology make an essential contribution in this context.
- Current priorities include diagnostic procedures for describing patients’ individual biomedical characteristics, technology-based systems that enable more precise and less traumatic surgical procedures, and custom-made prostheses and implants.
- A number of ethical, regulatory and economic issues must be resolved so that medical technology can be used to enhance the healthcare provided to individual patients.
- Key challenges include the protection of patients’ medicalrecords, regulation of medical products and the intelligent use and pooling of research and patient data.
- It will also be necessary to establish the use of individualised medical products in the healthcare system and ensure their affordability.
About the acatech POSITION PAPER
In 2014, a joint statement by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities set out the prerequisites for and consequences of a molecular genetic and pharmacological approach to Individualised Medicine. This executive summary is based on the acatech POSITION PAPER, which complements the 2014 statement by describing current developments in medical products and system and process solutions for different key technologies that demonstrate the essential contribution made by medical technology to various aspects of Individualised Medicine.