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A roadmap for personalised prevention


The progress in medicine over the past decades has been impressive. Nevertheless, many promising advancements have not yet been taken up in health care. Thanks to personalised approaches and the development of targeted interventions, several health conditions that were until recently very serious or even fatal, can now be cured, attenuated or turned into a chronic health condition. However, more could be achieved if we could identify individuals at higher risk of developing a particular condition early on and before symptoms occur. In this regard, it is worth noting that two thirds of chronic diseases are thought to be preventable.

Personalised prevention therefore holds many promises and would allow for a paradigm shift in the provision and management of health care if efforts are co-ordinated and concentrated at the European and global levels. A number of successful individual preventive approaches are already deployed, for example in the field of cancer. However, more insight is needed on the underlying human biology, taking stock of the rich data accumulated from the biomedical sciences. Furthermore, successful strategies will require holistic approaches, taking into account behavioural and life style factors. Most importantly, better co-ordination is essential to foster and accelerate the development and adoption of personalised prevention strategies for the years to come. It will also be important to assess the value of prevention in terms of savings in the health system.

Proposals should address all of the following:

  • Identification and networking of key stakeholders for the co-creation of strategies for personalised prevention.
  • Literature mapping, research gap analysis and mapping of existing research programmes for personalised prevention in Europe and beyond.
  • Identification of existing bottlenecks, analysis of evidences and examples of successful implementation of personalised prevention approaches and assessment of their transferability.
  • Analysis of how personalised prevention can be delivered most effectively, efficiently and cost-effective.
  • Robust, professional communication strategy to maximise the impact of the findings and the uptake of personalised prevention strategies.
  • A Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda on personalised prevention throughout the life course to inform research funders and other prospective partners of the expected future European partnership on personalised medicine.

Proposals should engage with related research initiatives (e.g. ICPerMed) and provide input to prospective partners of the expected future European partnership on personalised medicine.

Proposals should encourage a patient-centred approach that empowers patients, promotes a culture of dialogue and openness between health professionals, patients and their families, and unleashes the potential of social innovation.