The Googlization of health research

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Abstract

Consumer-oriented mobile technologies offer new ways of capturing multidimensional health data, and are increasingly seen as facilitators of medical research. This has opened the way for large consumer tech companies, like Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, to enter the space of health research, offering new methods for collecting, storing and analyzing health data.

While these developments are often portrayed as ‘disrupting’ research in beneficial ways, they also raise many ethical issues. These can be organized into three clusters: questions concerning the quality of research; privacy/informed consent; and new power asymmetries based on access to data and control over technological infrastructures. The author argues that this last cluster, insofar as it may affect future research agendas, deserves more critical attention.

SOURCE: Personalized Medicine

How systems medicine will transform the healthcare sector and society

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Abstract

Ten years ago, the proposition that healthcare is evolving from reactive disease care to care that is predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory was regarded as highly speculative. Today, the core elements of that vision are widely accepted and have been articulated in a series of recent reports by the US Institute of Medicine.

Systems approaches to biology and medicine are now beginning to provide patients, consumers and physicians with personalized information about each individual’s unique health experience of both health and disease at the molecular, cellular and organ levels. This information will make disease care radically more cost effective by personalizing care to each person’s unique biology and by treating the causes rather than the symptoms of disease. It will also provide the basis for concrete action by consumers to improve their health as they observe the impact of lifestyle decisions.

Working together in digitally powered familial and affinity networks, consumers will be able to reduce the incidence of the complex chronic diseases that currently account for 75% of disease-care costs in the USA.

FULL TEXT: Personalized Medicine