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Computer Program Could 'revolutionize the World's Healthcare'

By ­niversity of Manchester

July 25, 2011

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The University of Manchester and a group of more than 25 academic institutions and industrial partners are collaborating on IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM), a 10-year project to create computational models of individuals that could develop into everyone having their own individually tailored health system based on their genetic and physiological makeup.

The researchers say the project could enable doctors to have instant, detailed knowledge of an individual patient's medical history. "ITFoM will make general models of human pathways, tissues, diseases, and ultimately of the human as a whole," which will "then be used to identify personalized prevention and therapy schedules, and the side effects of drugs," says Manchester professor Hans Westerhoff.

The researchers plan to develop many new technologies for use in the project, including techniques for the rapid acquisition and evaluation of patient data, dynamic storage and processing of data, and systems that can learn, predict, and inform. ITFoM also will provide hypothetical scenarios of what would happen if a patient takes a certain drug or makes certain lifestyle changes.

Manchester professor Norman Paton says ITFoM "provides an exciting opportunity to bring together and build upon advances in medical, biological, and computational sciences."

From University of Manchester
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