Personalised medicine unlocks the value of patient data to consider individual differences in a person's genes, environment, and lifestyle. Our technology-enabled healthcare system is becoming increasingly information intensive. Health care is being transformed into a system that is expertly tailor-made to the needs of individual patients. Over the past two decades, genomic sequencing and other technologies have generated an unprecedented amount of data about the human genome, informing our understanding of human health and enabling rapid advances in the development of medicines. A large volume of data is collected regularly, and once we manage to analyse large datasets of genetic and health information, we may uncover previously unknown connections between patient characteristics, symptoms, and medical conditions. It is the integration and analysis of this information that forms the core of personalised medicine. However, any data-focused intervention comes at a price. Personalised medicine may well enhance health care, but its future will depend upon how we address relevant legal and ethical issues arising from both challenges and limitations concerning data. This lecture would examine the challenges posed by such technological breakthroughs, including the complexity of data, particularly the role to be given to consent that would provide transparency and foster patients' trust in the development of personalised medicine.
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