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Denis Horgan

Executive Director

EuropeanAlliance for Personalised Medicine

B R OW S E

www.euapm.eu

H O R I Z O N

2 0 2 0

www.horizon2020projects.com

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

I S S U E S E V E N

109

H E A L T H & P AT I E N T D ATA

The Brussels-based European Alliance for Personalised Medicine

(EAPM), which brings together a broad range of stakeholders including

patients, clinicians, researchers, industry, academics and policy makers,

believes that the necessary collaborations should take place in an arena

based on solid ethical principles as well as those of respect, mutual

trust and goodwill.

Every healthcare system features the coming together of one set of citizens

in need of diagnosis and/or treatment and another set entrusted to deliver

it. This trust is based on a blend of technical competence and service

orientation, steered by ethical commitment and social accountability, which

forms the essence of reliable and professional healthcare.

Developing such a blend requires lengthy education and a substantial

investment by policy makers and society.

It is clear that Europe has talent. From gifted researchers to world class

clinicians, the EU is awash with intellect, skill and a sense of purpose.

All this brilliance – turned into more innovation in healthcare, through

the exploitation of Big Data, investment, collaboration and education –

will create a better world for patients, now and long into the future.

Even on a ‘local’ level, there is clearly a dearth of

‘smart’ co-operation and coherence in planning

among, for example, patients, policy makers,

academics, clinicians, governments, SMEs and,

of course, the pharmaceutical industry when it

comes to bringing down costs and ensuring that

procurement rules and reimbursement policies

work quickly and effectively.

As noted, collaboration is key, as the above can

only be achieved through the breaking down of

silo walls; in every stakeholder arena.

Build awareness

And then we come to education, or the current

lack of it. The true potential of this fantastic

new science will never be fully realised unless

frontline clinicians have the knowledge to

exploit it and innovators have the feedback

required. There is an urgent need for an

improvement in relationships between all key

stakeholders in order to develop trust and new

partnerships. This should have the goal of

giving clinicians better tools to treat and

inform their patients and allow healthcare

professionals (HCP) a better understanding of

their patients’ needs.

The modern patient wants to be informed in a

transparent, unpatronising and clear way about

his or her options and this lets him or her

properly into the decision making process with

regard to treatment options, taking into account

lifestyle and other factors.

In short, they want to be fully acknowledged as

citizens in the same way that everyone else is.

So the issue of education of HCPs is a major

one. It is clear that a great degree of upskilling

is already required and, to keep pace with the

science, this must be ongoing. Stakeholders

need to find a way to achieve this together, with

agreed standards across the board so that no

patient is denied a suitable, virtually tailormade

treatment due to a lack of knowledge or

understanding on behalf of the HCP treating

and diagnosing him or her.

On top of this, it is vital that, for example,

radiologists, urologists and clinicians can

understand one another and devise an holistic

response to any given treatment. This will result

in a better understanding of each other’s

discipline and allow more effective, modern-day

synergies to be developed.

Personalised medicine

offers opportunities for

health professionals