The project involves the development of a large-scale database of unified electronic health records and is intended to provide safer and more effective medications as well as reduced health care costs.
Pharmacogenomics defines how a persons genetics affects his or her bodys response to medications. It is the basis for individualized medicine, through which drugs are tailored and applied to cater to a persons personal genetic makeup.
Pharmacogenomics could be a leap forward for health care. At the clinical trial level, it involves information sharing, investigator and patient management, and terminology translation.
At the health care level, it involves biomedical surveillance, determining clinical pathways for standardized patient care and gathering patient and physician information into a centralized database.
Keeping electronic health records is also an effective monitoring tool to curb outbreaks of emerging diseases such as SARS and avian influenza, more popularly known as bird flu.