The future of laboratory medicine in the era of precision medicine
Medical science has undergone a substantial revolution in recent years, wherein the traditional approach to diagnosing and treating many human diseases has gradually evolved from a generalized conception of health and disease to an individualized approach entailing decisions and interventions tailored to the single patient according to individual responses or risk of disease. This axiom has evolved from concept to practice, and has been translated into the notion of “personalized” or “precision” medicine. Although precision (personalized) medicine will be the core opportunity for effective care in the anticipatable future, many political, economic and cultural challenges need to be overwhelmed, and these include some ongoing healthcare reforms around the globe, cost containment strategies, consolidation of laboratories and in vitro diagnostic testing, as well as the impact of new technologies and tests on the existing laboratory organization. Therefore, the aim of this article is to discuss some of the several changes which may ultimately drive or challenge the future of laboratory medicine in the era of precision medicine.