Genomics Progress in Canada

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Fraser Clarke

A new pilot initiative is being rolled out in Canada, in an attempt to help enhance the care offered to patients with rare diseases.

Launched earlier this week by Genome Canada, the new programme has promised every patient with one of over 7,000 rare diseases access to diagnosis and (where available) treatment, as part of a plan to improve the standard of precision healthcare offered to patients.

Precision healthcare, where disease is predicted and prevented before taking hold, looks as if it will play a huge part in the future of the industry, and studying the genetics of those with rare diseases will allow for further enhancement.

Canada’s new national strategy will feature three key initiatives:

  • The establishment of a rare diseases cohort, following the collection of 30,000 pieces of data from those with rare diseases and their close family members.
  • The establishment of a national platform to make collecting and sharing data easy for researchers.
  • Greater clinical implementation, with clinical and regional health centres partnered and accredited to cover a large percentage of the population.

Speaking at the publication of the new plans President and CEO of Genome Canada, Marc LePage said: “Precision health built on genomics and other technology promises the unprecedented ability for diagnostic precision and timeliness, as well as the opportunity to discover new disease mechanisms and treatments. 

“Our rare disease pilot initiative aims to directly help thousands of Canadian patients and their families, while laying the foundation for better health outcomes.

“The launch of this strategy is a major step towards implementing precision health into Canada's healthcare system. We look forward to engaging patients, the provinces, healthcare providers, and researchers in this exciting and important initiative.”

Canada is one of the most popular locations with the medics we work with, and job opportunities are always highly sought after. 

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