The uptake of personalised medicine encounters different difficulties according to regional particularities. Especially regions that are remote, rural, or sparsely populated face challenges that are greater than urban or capital regions. Isolated populations may have specific genetic backgrounds that predispose them to particular illnesses. Hospitals may be far away and difficult to reach. Rural populations are often aging populations that may not be sufficiently digitally knowledgeable for receiving care through digital means. If all European citizens are to enjoy the benefits of personalised healthcare, which entails tailoring therapies to patients’ genotypic and phenotypic traits and a shift to preventive medicine, then the infrastructure and institutions of remote, rural, and sparsely populated regions must be equipped to deal with data collecting and sharing, privacy and security issues, patient education, and so on.
The topics to be discussed include:
- Personalised healthcare for remote and rural areas
- Digital needs and preparedness of GPs in rural and isolated areas
- Distance-spanning technologies and telemedicine
- Genome projects for (remote and isolated) regions
- Anna L. Prytherch, Rural healthcare Wales
- Professor Adrián LLerena, Extremadura University Hospital and Medical School
- Dr. Jean Pierre Jacquet, President European Rural and Isolated Practitioners Association (EURIPA)
- Dr. Anna Lundgren, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio
- Dr. Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCODE genetics (Iceland)
The agenda and list of speakers is provided on the SAPHIRe website.
SAPHIRe, which stands for Securing the Adoption of Personalised Health in Regions, is a 3.5-year project (2019-2022) funded by the European Commission (DG Research & Innovation) under the Horizon 2020 programme, and is managed by a consortium consisting of the department of Economy, Science and Innovation of the Flemish Government, the Public Health Agency of Northern Ireland, EIT Health/InnoStars and EuroBioForum Foundation (see www.saphire-eu.eu). The aim of the project is to map personalised medicine and health policies in European regions, with special regard to remote and sparsely populated regions, and to establish and support networking between interested regions in order to exchange good practices, facilitate interregional collaboration and identify opportunities for funding of joint projects. In this regard SAPHIRe supports the agenda of ICPerMed, the international consortium for personalised medicine.