Instead of treating all patients the same way, precision medicine takes individual variations in genetics, environmental and lifestyle factors into account, allowing doctors to more accurately predict which treatment and prevention strategies will work in different groups of people. Enabled by tools to analyse data on a large scale and with DNA sequencing becoming more affordable, precision medicine can improve healthcare by giving doctors a more detailed understanding of each patient.
As next-generation sequencing becomes faster and less cost prohibitive, it is becoming increasingly clear that precision medicine can be a powerful tool in the field of kidney disease as it can provide earlier or more accurate diagnosis, allowing for more targeted or earlier interventions—and ultimately leading to better long-term outcomes. In the long run, it has the potential to decrease the burden of kidney failure in our society. Yet, despite these benefits of precision medicine, genetic testing is currently not commonly or consistently offered in local nephrology clinics.
Among adults and children with primary glomerular diseases, about 14-26% are due to genetic causes. But because genetic testing is not part of the routine diagnostic evaluation for primary glomerular diseases locally, patients with genetic causes are often misdiagnosed or diagnosed late.
From rare diseases to population health, developments in genomics and precision medicine have the potential to change the lives of millions. But given how fast the healthcare landscape is evolving, can regulation safeguard the safety and welfare of our residents without stifling innovation of new healthcare services and technologies?
Precision medicine holds the key to revolutionise healthcare delivery and improving health outcomes for Singaporeans. In Singapore, the National Precision Medicine (NPM) programme will be implemented in three phases across 10 years—aiming to accelerate biomedical advancements, enhance economic value, and ultimately transform healthcare in Singapore.
The Phase I findings of Singapore’s National Precision Medicine (NPM) programme—the SG10K study—have revealed important knowledge regarding geneticvariations in disease risk and drug reactions among different ethnicities.These findings mark a significant milestone in the NPM journey and provide earlyinsights to pave the way for Phase II—SG100K.
Women make up over half the population in Singapore. Of those aged 50 to 69, over 94% know about breast cancer screening. Yet—less than 40% of this age group had gone for mammography in the last two years. Is it any wonder why breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths among women?
Finding a lump in her right breast was the last thing 50-year-old Juvina Lee expected when she signed up for the BREAst screening Tailored for Her (BREATHE) study in March 2023. And her story is not unique. One in six breast cancer cases in Singapore are diagnosed in women under 45 years old, and it is one of the most common cancers in women aged 15 to 34.
Untreated, people with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) have up to 20 times higher risk of premature heart disease compared to those without. But low awareness and understanding of the severity of FH lead to undiagnosed and underdiagnosed FH patients. Even among diagnosed FH patients, high default rates for appointments and low adherence to prescribed medication are observed.
Based on a projected prevalence of one in 200 to 300, Singapore has about 22,000 cases of heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). However, there is no telling what the real disease frequency is—due to underdiagnosis and undertreatment.
By 2030, around one in four citizens in Singapore, or 23.8%, will be aged 65 and above. Naturally, when it comes to planning for the healthcare system, the implication of a rapidly ageing population is significant. Professor Kenneth Mak, Director-General of Health (DGH), Ministry of Health, explains the intricacy involved in ensuring the resilience and […]