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Issues to Overcome

Cuts to training and technology budgets could hamper efforts to implement personalized medicine through the UK's National Health Service, according to the Independent.

A new report issued by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has found while the UK is ahead of the curve in applying genomics to healthcare, digital infrastructure and data sharing are needed, as are training for staff and public education in genomic medicine.

"Genomics has the potential to revolutionize NHS healthcare, but we are concerned that this potential is threatened by delays in the NHS' digital projects, reduced genomics training budgets, and potential public concerns over sharing personal health data," committee chair Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, tells the Independent.

According to the Register, Lamb and other committee members say the government hasn't confirmed the genomics budget and they call on it to increase its funding in the area.

Bloomberg adds that other issues such as ethical concerns and public worry over sharing health information also need to be addressed. It further notes that NHS has considered commercializing its data and to use that as an income source. "While patient benefit should be the focus of the Genomic Medicine Service, income generated from NHS data can be reinvested in the NHS and further benefit patients in the long-term," the report says.