February 20, 2017
A recent article titled, The Genomics Intelligence Revolution from TechCrunch, highlights how next generation sequencing (NGS) of DNA is making whole genome sequencing of the human genome quicker and more affordable than ever before. The net result of this is the creation of massive reference databases—the kind that researchers need to better understand complex diseases, enhance knowledge of gene interaction and gene response to environmental changes.
With ongoing advancements in genomic technologies, and growing sets of reference data, it is now possible to take an evidence-based approach to health. This will serve to improve health outcomes, and potentially make the health-care system more cost-effective. The push for cost effectiveness is not about cost reduction, but about gaining better value for healthcare dollars through evidence-based diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. This is the focus of the latest round in Genome Canada’s Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition.
Applications in this competition must describe concrete deliverables that will be realized by the end of the project that have the potential to be translated into valuable treatments, tools or improved health-care policies and practices. For example, the benefits of projects stemming from this competition could include adoption of a new technology or treatment, a change in clinical practice guidelines, a change in public health policies, an application of an existing drug to a new indication, or a reduction in the number of adverse drug reactions. There could be other positive impacts on society, the economy (e.g., development of products with commercial potential), or on quality of life.
The goal of initiatives like this is to drive important research that can deliver the promise of precision health—better health outcomes and better value for our healthcare spend.