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Home » Industry News » The Genomics Advantage: Improved Mainstream Healthcare Through Collaboration and Tech
Joyce Drohan

Joyce Drohan

Partner & BC Leader, Omnia AI Deloitte

Mediaplanet: What is genomic literacy, and why is it so important?

Joyce Drohan: Our genomic profiles are the richest information sources we have about ourselves and is the key to increasing our collective understanding of population health.  As access to genomic information increases, it is also increasingly important for Canadians to understand how their genomic profile affects their health and wellness.  This understanding helps us make lifestyle choices and more personalized treatment decisions, based on our own genetic information. Use of genomic information is a game changer to improve patient care and as its use becomes more common, precision medicine has the potential to create a thriving population.

What can we do to collaborate better to share data?

We all need to understand our genomic data, how and where it is being used. Our data could be used not only to help us in our own treatment choice, but can also contribute to population data that helps other people manage their diseases.

Organizations need to collaborate better to share data that benefits patients and use innovative technologies to share this data-dense information on the cloud. Governments can be supportive to ensure that data is secure and used only where it is consented, while supporting policy and regulation changes to make data sharing easier and modernize access.

We need a cohesive Canadian strategy on precision health.  Researchers, private and public sector organizations need to improve how we collaborate to beat diseases like cancer and improve the health of every Canadian. We truly are stronger when we work together.

What is Deloitte currently doing in this area?

Deloitte is working on multiple initiatives globally and locally that look at research on lifestyle and genetic determinants of health.  As a focus, we are enabling consortiums and collaborative ecosystems to work together to develop strategies and solutions that promote health and wellness using innovations like precision medicine.

On a more immediate level, Deloitte is building and leveraging technology including cloud-based platforms, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make sense of the large quantities of unstructured data, so it becomes findable and interoperable. This helps organizations create valuable insights that increases knowledge to improve patient outcomes.

We believe this is Canada’s moment. We need to act with courage to be global leaders in improving patient care, and help communities thrive through improved secure access for individuals and applied for populations. 

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