The technical revolution has generated large amounts of data in healthcare and research, and a rapidly increasing knowledge about factors of importance for the individual’s health. This holds great potential to support a change from the one-size-fits-all paradigm to personalised or precision medicine, to guide and thereby improve each health decision of expected benefit for the patient.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has contributed to a great public and political awareness of the importance of personalised medicine, where the influence of host factors like age, sex, obesity, smoking, co-morbidities etc. confer increased risk of serious COVID-19 illness. It is expected that in the near future, a more systematic and data-driven approach for prediction and risk stratification of COVID-19 patients and many other patient groups, will increase and improve due to better understanding of disease pathology, including the influence of genetic variability and biomarkers on disease risk and outcome. The Nordic countries have unique welfare systems with general access to healthcare, and longitudinal nationwide health databases and biobanks. This infrastructure combined with unique person identifiers creates an optimal setting for personalised medicine development, and the Nordic model of research, translation, care and education can serve as a forefront example for the rest of the world. The course in Personalised medicine from a Nordic perspective will introduce, describe, define and discuss the concept of personalised medicine from the aspect of the patient, health-care and the infrastructure available to generate a learning environment that is integrated with everyday care of patients. The course also covers communication of risk and the ethical, legal and social aspects of personalised medicine and presents examples where personalised medicine approach is already used in routine care. The course was initiated by Faculty leaders in the Education Working Group of Nordic Medical Schools and received funding from the Joint Committee of the Nordic Medical Research Councils (NOS-M). Experts from all the Nordic countries participate in the course: Saedis Saevarsdottir, Sisse Ostrowski, Hans Tomas Björnsson, Richard Rosenquist Brandell, Henning Bundgaard, Engilbert Sigurðsson, Aarno Palotie, Ole A Andreassen, Runolfur Palsson, Alma Möller, Søren Brunak, Johan Askling, Carsten Utoft Niemann, Rudi Agius, Sofia Ernestam, Saemundur Oddsson, Henrik Ullum, Kari Stefansson, Patrick Sulem, Simon Rasmussen, Jens Lundgren, Anders Perner, Merete Lund Hetland, Heidi Bentzen, Henning Langberg, Sigurdur Kristinsson, Thor Aspelund, Jeanette Knox, David Arnar, Sigurdis Haraldsdottir, Hakon Heimer, Lone Frank, Mette Nordahl Svendsen, Bjorn Hofmann, and Morten Søgaard.