Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer: a detailed look at genomics

Genomic medicine has the potential to save costs and improve quality of care by targeting treatment, maximising benefit and reducing side effects | CMO

genome

Image source: Genomics England

This report identifies the opportunities that advances in genomic technology can deliver for clinical practice and public health: the genomic dream. I make recommendations to help deliver this promise of genomic medicine and science for the UK. The chapters of this report cover a broad spectrum of topics spanning from diagnosis, screening, prevention and therapeutics to an analysis of the ethical, legal and social implications of genomics. Case studies are presented of successes and challenges, with examples of where genomic medicine has had an impact – on clinical practice, science and public health.

In the UK we have seen a massive change in our ability to diagnose, treat and support patients with genetic diseases. The UK is an international leader in this field, having already begun to bring genomics into our NHS to make it the best health system possible. Through the establishment of Genomics England and the 100,000 Genomes Project,
we are ahead of the game in transforming our NHS by integrating genomics into the health service in a way other countries dream of.

This is being enabled by a technological revolution with data sciences, genomic and computer technology all evolving rapidly. They have all become cheaper, faster and easier and this has contributed to fundamental advances in genomic science and medicine.

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