Precision Medicine has made its way into healthcare in recent years. Still, more than half of the world’s population has no access to precision medicine and is unaware of its medical benefits. Experts say the obstacles they found in the way of precision medicine were not in science and technology but in policy and governance, ranging from legislation to standards defining ‘road rules’ for companies, governments, and international organizations.’ Policy and governance issues such as cross-border data access, the implementation of ethical technology, genomic data policies, and the efficiency of diagnostics development were highlighted by them. These issues can be solved during the current COVID-19 crisis if precision medicine could recover and resurge.
The World Forum’s Global Fourth Industrial Revolution Council Members about how policymakers can change-and quickly accelerate the transition of healthcare systems towards precision medicine and provide better governance related to health problems regarding precision medicine.
Opening the gates for data
Lack of data exchange between different scientific communities blocks the way of precision medicine to unlock its full potential. For example, With the help of international data norms on genomic data, we will be able to incorporate genetic marker data (specific sequences in our genetic blueprint which make us unique) into patient records so that researchers can understand why one patient or population might be especially susceptible to COVID-19. There is a need for control software in enabling large-scale data analytics to track and understand the spread of COVID-19 and tailor patient treatments to fight the pandemic.
Inclusion of vulnerable population ethically
Populations outside Europe and North America should be included and represented in medical researchers for precision medicine. It is important to include vulnerable populations in the spectrum of precision medicine so that value-based healthcare is provided to people who are in desperate need of it. Minorities are not taken into account when reporting research results of new treatments, thus which treatments work best for them is still unknown.
Investment in Diagnostics
In current businesses and emerging economies, there is less investment in science and technology which creates complexity in companies that create genetic testing to identify individuals with disorders that can be targeted by precision treatments. We need a change in the development and pricing models that accurately represent the importance of diagnostics in precision medicine throughout the overall journey in healthcare.
These goals can be achieved if policymakers adopt a clear decision-making technique, the teams work towards improving outcomes and understanding the urgent need to shift the paradox of governance in precision medicine. Effective governance can be achieved through introspection and adjustment over time according to current environments. During the current pandemic of COVID-19, precision medicine can play an important role in healthcare. The following four principles can be applied to the current framework to properly manage governance in precision medicine during COVID-19:
- Involving the right stakeholders
- Fix a shared understanding of goals.
- Align Rewards and Commitment Rules.
- Practice disciplined priority making.