The Use of Information Technology in Personalized Medicine

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Information technology is simply the development, maintenance and the use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and the manipulation of data. From oblivion information technology has become an everyday term that encompasses technology and computing. I.T includes activities that include database design, software design, networking and data management. Hence it comprises the use of computers as well as its association with information. Information technology has revolutionized many sectors all over the world from manufacturing industries to medicine to businesses and even engineering. Information technology has also assisted many fields by making it easier to access information and using this information to grow and develop. Information is essential in the running of the day to day activities of an organizations and their specific specialties. In this, assignment, we are going to look at the use of information technology in support of genome-based treatments for curing diseases and the potential ethical and privacy issues that may arise from such usages.

Genes are some of the characteristics that were passed down to us when we were infants. It is what gives us some of our features such as height and eye color. Our genome is the complete set of genetic information that we inherited from our parents. A human genome contains a lot of DNA basis which joins together to make up genes. The sequence of this DNA includes information about our health and how our genome works. Each has different DNA sequences, and these differences are known as variance, some are harmless, some harmless and some gives us advantages. Most diseases are linked to harmful genetic variations from rare disorders to cancer and diabetes. Knowing our genetic variation can tell our doctors what treatment would best work for us this is known as genetic medicine or personalized medicine. Personalized medicine can be seen as another mode of healthcare that emphasizes the use of an individual’s unique hereditary genome and information available in the environment to prevent diseases and also administer treatment. Genome-based treatments are applied the following ways to prevent infections and in treatment: Pharmacogenomics ant treatment response, predictive and disease susceptibility testing, personal/consumer genomics, diagnosis and prognosis and monitoring.

Information technology comes in a lot handy in genetic-medicine for the revolution of information technology has brought about innovation of numerous technology that has increased the understanding of how the human genome works and how the difference in individual genomes influence health and confer risk for the disease. Multiple technological innovations came together to push genetic-medicine forward. Some of the technologies involved in personal-medicine include the ilumina NovaSeq sequencer which has increased the speed and scalability of the human genome sequencing. Likewise, other technological advancements such as the Edico Genome DRAGEN software and hardware have enabled genome analysis to be performed at a much shorter time. After such technology has carried out analysis on a patient, then the doctors can administer treatment to suppress the harmful gene (Wagenen, 2017). Genetic medicine has led to the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer.

Although genetic-medicine has helped in the health sector, it also faces a lot of ethical issues in the society.  The ethical questions that surround gene therapy are: how to distinguish between the wrong and proper usage of genetic medicine, who decides which traits are healthy and which constitute a disability or disorder? Will the high costs of genetic-medicine make it available only to the wealthy? Could the widespread use of genetic-medicine make society less accepting of people who are different? Should people be allowed to use genetic medicine to enhance essential human traits such as height, intelligence, or athletic ability?

Current genetic medicine has intensively focused on treating persons by aiming the therapy to body cells such as bone marrow or blood cells. These types of personalized medicine cannot be passed to a person’s children. Gene therapy could be targeted on ovary and sperm cells also known as germ cells. However, through the germline gene therapy approach, it allows the genes which have been inserted to be transferred to the next generations. However, the germline gene therapy approach is controversial since there it is highly likely that it can affect the growth of fetuses in various ways while also having long-term side effects which are still unknown. Since no person who is expected to be affected by the germline gene therapy has been born, they are not expected to have any choice as to whether to accept the treatment. Due to these ethical considerations, the U.S. Government does not allow federal funds to be used for research on the germline gene therapy in people (R, 2015).

In conclusion, the innovation of technology in information technology has spearheaded the development of genome-based treatment. It has made analysis and understanding of the human gene much possible and even lowered cost on research. Due to this improvement, the medical sector has improved over the years and so has the prevention of diseases in future generations. Even though it has brought a lot of benefits to the pharmaceutical industry, it has also brought rise to ethical concern like if the treatment would have side effects on future generations and if the treatment would cause harm to the developing fetus.

References

Mayfield, Jodi, David Czuchlewski, James Gale, Ksenia Matlawska-Wasowska, Mohammad Vasef, Christian K. Nickl, Cecilia Arana Yi, Gavin Pickett, Scott Ness, and Stuart S. Winter. (2016). Genome-Based Treatment Algorithm to Prevent Relapse in Children and Young Adults with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. A Prospective Feasibility Study, 1738-1738.

R, B. j. (2015). Points to consider: ethical, legal, and psychosocial implications of genetic testing in children and adolescents. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 6-21.

Wagenen, J. V. (2017, December 07). How Technology Advancements in Healthcare Are Making Genomic Medicine a Reality. Retrieved from Health Tech Magazine: https://healthtechmagazine.net/article/2017/12/how-health-it-advancements-make-genomic-medicine-reality

September 04, 2023
Number of pages

4

Number of words

968

Downloads:

38

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