The purpose of the “personalized medicine” approach is to enable the huge volume of health- and illness-related data that we have at our disposal nowadays to be used to improve patient treatment. Personalized health is synonymous with the efforts to enable the population as a whole to benefit from the findings, such as in the area of prevention.

In addition to the necessary infrastructure, most notably in the area of medical informatics, and the networking of the existing data, this also requires specific research into interdependencies of medical relevance, for instance between genotypic variants and the characteristics of a disease in a specific person. One of the key aspects envisaged in the strategic focus on Personalized Health and Related Technologies is to create platforms which enable different molecular data from clinical samples to be linked and to be made available systematically with a view towards being used further in research.

© ETH Zurich / Gian Marco Castelberg

In addition, there is a focus in different areas on the analysis of certain data types and on understanding their health-related significance, including in terms of the optimised effect of therapeutic approaches by personalising them on the basis of data. It is hoped that this will culminate in the development of devices which provide enhanced support for research and practice in the area of personalized health.

The strategic research area of Personalized Health and Related Technologies seeks to engage closely with the nationwide Swiss Personalized Health Network initiative. As the secure handling and analysis of large volumes of data is essential in all research activities, use is also made of synergies with the strategic focus on Data Science.