Market Research: How Genetic Testing Will Be Integrated Into Clinical Practice by 2014

Medical educators have been grappling with what to teach future M.D.’s about using genetics in medicine and in so doing have attempted to paint a broad brush prediction about how genetics will likely be integrated into medical practice in the next 5 years or more.  These particular predictions are found in  “Report VI – Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Genetics Education, Medical School Objectives Project June 2004” published by the AAMC.  The predictions are meant to be a guideline for medical educators charged with preparing the next generation of doctors.

As a product development engineer the publication provides me with some insights into how the medical community expects to use genetic information and potentially provides clues to new products and product features for my company.  The information in the document provides several more pieces of knowledge that can be used to help predict what the future medical device market for genetics based products may be in 2014 and beyond.

Using my own pattern recognition system I found one interesting item that pops up is the need to interpret expression microarrays and panels of tests.  This will be a daunting task given the considerable increase in data that the physician will have at hand to interpret.  Information overload is already a problem and would seem to be poised to get worse.   Technical solutions that make use of the minds ability to identify patterns and the doctor’s training to look for them could be one potential technical path to helping make sense of all the information.  Too fully develop this approach there would be a need to become comfortable with the psychological and technical aspects of pattern recognition in the human brain,  and marry this knowledge with the typical diagnostic methods doctor’s use on a day to day basis.   I would imagine that government sponsored research research on addressing information overload may be useful.  It also requires a knowledge of the challenges facing the typical medical practitioner on a day to day basis.

One attempt to solve one of the issues of interpreting large amounts of genetic data may be instructive.

See Making Gene Expression Data Useful To The Clinician

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in addressing the issues described in this post Contact

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2004 + 5 years 2004 + 10 Years
Prevention • Expanded newborn • Wide array of disorders
screening with tandem subject to newborn
mass spectrometry screening
• Increased number of • Routine use of proteomic
prenatal carrier screens screens for very early
• Expanded scope of cancer detection of common
screening and presymptomatic cancers
testing • Increasing use of screening
• Limited use of screening for risk for common disorders
panels for common disorders, to achieve risk stratification
such as cardiovascular and implement
disease or dementia prevention strategies

Diagnosis • Use of microarrays to • Use of panels of molecular
diagnose subtle chromosomal tests to stratify common
abnormalities disorders such as asthma
• Increasingly routine use of or hypertension
molecular testing for wide • Routine molecular characterization
range of monogenic of tissues in
disorders pathology
• Increasing use of expression • Use of panels of tests to
microarrays in histopathological achieve precise diagnosis
diagnosis of monogenic and chromosomal
• Use of new modes of disorders
prenatal testing, such as
preimplantation testing
Treatment • Increasing array of • Routine use of pharmaco
monogenic disorders genetic profiling
amenable to treatment • Stratification of common
• Expanded panel of pharmacogenetic disease and selection of
tests specifically targeted
(e.g., CYP2D6) therapies
• Increasing number of new • Limited routine use of
cancer-specific therapies gene therapy
• Continued experimentation • Use of expression arrays
with gene therapy to determine treatment
• Use of expression arrays to strategies widespread
determine treatment strategies
for certain diseases
• Use of panels of molecular

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