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  Study: Precision medicine could bring further disadvantages for underprivileged groups | Bit Updates
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Study: Precision medicine could bring further disadvantages for underprivileged groups

Thursday, March 8th, 2018 | bitcoin updates

          
    
    
    (Picture: "The City" / Herry Lawford / cc-by-2.0)
                
            
             Therapies designed specifically for the personal circumstances of patients should bring advances in health care. However, at the same time they carry the danger that certain groups fall through the grid.
            

        

        The so-called precision medicine will in the future all sorts of information about patients – genetics, origin, nutrition and even the neighborhood – use to develop highly personalized therapies for a variety of ailments. This would mean the end of today's unit medicine, and doctors hope that a more precise approach would bring health benefits to all. According to a new study, however, there are groups that would not benefit from precision medicine but would continue to be disadvantaged. The Technology Review reports online in "Precise and Unfair."

    

    

The study is from the Data & Society Research Institute, New York. The losers would therefore include, among others, less interested in technology and informed people who are not involved in the current studies on precision medicine. In order to not only benefit urban elites, researchers will have to find ways to attract less health-conscious people to their studies.
Another group that has to expect disadvantages from precision medicine are immigrants. Some observers fear that research findings could serve to further discriminate against these people, even though they are already at the margins of society anyway. Suppose a researcher discovers a new health risk for a particular ethnic group: "It could then be a health reason to limit their members' entry into the country because they would put a strain on the health system," says bioethicist Lisa Parker.
More at Technology Review online:
(SMA)

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