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The essentials of personalised healthcare in low-budget regions

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Optimisation and merging of technologies towards diagnostic-ready workflows at an affordable cost is the prime focus of health providers today.

We are experiencing a shift in paradigm towards personalised health, which calls for growing investments in innovation to generate highly accurate, precise, and sensitive methodologies to measure personal health, diagnose early disease, offer personalised treatment options, and conduct follow-ups.

The impact of innovation

On a global level, there is a lot we have learned in the past years about the importance of investing in health, with the current need for serology (antibody) testing to measure SARS-CoV-2 immune response as part of our own health strategy to maintain protection against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

In fact, we have seen the emergence of accurate and sensitive multiplex tests that provides information on the level of personal immune response promoting your own health. In addition to that, the knowledge on individual health has emerged with innovative products testing the microbiota in the gut, providing information about the disbalance of essential microbes that are important to maintain our health by providing health-promoting compounds and suppressing inflammation in the gut lining.

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Prof. Godfrey Grench, Scientific Advisor

The significance of these methodologies is to prevent various diseases including inflammatory disease, neurological disease, metabolic disease, and cancer. The implementation of personalised health in predicting therapy selection and outcome following disease diagnosis has made significant contributions to the healthcare system. The emergence of multiple technologies and sensitive methodologies has gained a central role in personalised medicine, which measures the therapy benefit and provides the oncologist with information for evidence-based decisions on an individual patient level. The use of liquid biopsies — that is, blood-based tests to measure solid tumours in various organs — has also gained centre stage in personalised medicine.

Access to emerging technologies

One of the forces driving the need for emerging technologies is to provide access to healthcare requirements in countries that do not adopt private health insurance plans to support public healthcare. Healthcare has evolved into a high premium financial need providing preventive and personalised medicine.

While we advocate for a personalised approach to prevent disease and increase the efficacy of treatments for a better quality of life and healthcare sustainability, it is also important that access to the required needs in terms of tests, education, and healthcare infrastructure is possible globally.

Currently, there are extensive efforts in the biotech industry to ensure access in a global dimension. For instance, emerging technologies adopt multiplex assays to measure panels of biomarkers at affordable healthcare costs. For instance, the Simpliplex technology at Omnigene Medical Technologies provides a sensitive, accurate, precise, and multiplex solution to measure cancer biomarkers in low input and low-quality material settings. This ensures implementation in regions with low healthcare budgets and at the same time provides advantages in a global dimension with its application in the characterisation of solid tumours in the blood (liquid biopsies), offering opportunities for therapeutic patient monitoring.

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Simpliplex is validated for gene amplification determination in solid tumours

The Simpliplex technology is also versatile, implement novel biomarkers and can be used to validate new analytes offering high throughput workflows for clinical trials and biomarker validation in retrospective studies. The technology is compatible with current diagnostic workflows and provides a digital output for multiple analytes using low sample input volumes. The hands-on time is massively reduced making the tests affordable and highly accessible.

The use of the Simpliplex technology is validated for gene amplification determination in solid tumours and the workflow for ERBB2 testing in breast cancer has been validated for lab-based testing, providing an immediate digitalised solution for regions that lack the infrastructure to perform receptor status in first line breast cancer diagnostics. The current assay Simpliplex BCAMP is easily upgraded to provide information on the proliferative capacity of the tumours and to identify tumour heterogeneity.

Healthcare strategies and outlook

In healthcare, the implementation of actionable strategies based on biomarkers require simple, sensitive, and versatile multiplex tests. The application of these tests for early prevention of disease and therapeutic patient monitoring depends on the sensitivity to quantify evidence-based biomarkers.

One of the initiatives of Omnigene Medical Technologies is to prevent metabolic, inflammatory, and malignant disease through the implementation of laboratory services in the field of gut dysbiosis. A balanced gut microbiota composition is crucial to minimise inflammation of the bowel, which is an underestimated organ that provides energy, metabolic, neurotransmitters and health-promoting compounds required to maintain health.

Dysbiosis is the cause of various metabolic syndromes, inflammatory bowel disease and depressive states. Understanding the extent and the nature of dysbiosis provides the required information to implement health promoting strategies to ensure the right balance and prevent disease.

The optimisation of technologies and merging of existing technologies towards diagnostic ready workflows at affordable prices is the current focus of emerging technologies in healthcare and public health. One of the milestones in healthcare is to prevent disease and to implement strategies to promote personal health through education and sharing of knowledge.

In oncology, the molecular classification of tumours permits the selection of targeted therapies, and the implementation of sensitive methodologies allows therapeutic monitoring, early detection of therapy resistance, and reduces relapse through proper monitoring of minimal residual disease.

Professor Godfrey Grech is the Scientific Advisor at Omnigene Medical Technologies.

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