Genomic medicine is now integrating molecular medicine, which aims to explain life and disease in terms of the presence and regulation of molecular entities, and personalised medicine, which applies genotypic knowledge to identify predisposition to disease and develops therapies adapted to the genotype of individual patients.
The IST-funded SYMBIOmatics project seeks to stimulate such developments and help identify synergies between bioinformatics and medical/health informatics. Completing in September 2006, SYMBIOmatics has already documented the current status of research in biomedical informatics in Europe and identified several important areas of opportunity.
By systematically surveying European expert opinion and analysing the results of Internet surveys, the project team has produced a draft SYMBIOmatics White Paper, which was presented at the "ICT for Bio-Medical Sciences" conference in Brussels on 29-30 June 2006. The paper describes thirty-one areas identified as potential opportunities or challenges, based on the results of the project, and input from an earlier study carried out by another IST project, BIOINFOMED.
Using both facilitated workshops and further on-line consultation, the project team narrowed the total down to 14 areas considered the highest priority for further research. These are:
- ID area name priority.
- Medical genetics databases and initiatives.
- Gene expression information in medical diagnostics and prognostics.
- Modelling and simulation of biological structures, processes and diseases.
- Integration of data from biosensors and medical devices with clinical information systems.
- Integration of patient molecular data into electronic health records.
- Systems for clinical decision making.
- Semantic interoperability and ontologies in biomedicine.
- Technologies for biomedical information integration.
- Data interoperability and standards.
- Connecting biobanks to large-scale databases to enable data mining.
- Patient-risk profiling and lifestyle management.
- Applied pharmaceutical research.
- Clinical and ethical issues related to biomedical data processing.