04 July 2017
- Digital Health, - Medicines

Systems medicine is a novel approach based on computer models which, by analyzing a large amount of clinical data, have the potential to improve the understanding of the diseases and raise the efficacy of treatments. However, this approach is still in its early stages and requires a real multidisciplinary collaboration among life scientists, modelers and clinical scientists from various disciplines. But also patients must be actively involved, to ensure that this new approach meets their needs.

The Systems Medicine Conference organized in Ljubljana on June 8th and 9th by the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the University of Ljubljana, gathered all these stakeholders for discussing how to move forward in this field.

Despite the fact that this approach is relatively new, there are already many success stories in different disease areas: Dynaflow which proposes a personalized treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis, PUHCART for cardiac resynchronization therapy, SysPharmPedia, a systems pharmacology approach to difficult-to-treat paediatric asthma. European level initiatives in the field were also presented, including EASyM, the European Association of Systems Medicine.

The first day of the conference gave also great emphasis to the role of the patients and patient organisations: representatives of different diseases areas, namely the Slovenian Associations for Battle Against Breast Cancer and for Help with Dementia, and EFA, presented their work and engaged in a discussion which highlighted the expectations and mains challenges from a patient perspective for a full exploitation of systems medicine.   

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