On the occasion of the Gene Forum held today and tomorrow in Tartu, Estonia (www.geneforum.ee), Charles Auffray, the President and Founding Director of the European Institute for Systems Biology and Medicine (EISBM) in Lyon, France and Andres Metspalu, the Director of the Estonian Genome Centre and Biobank at the University of Tartu, Estonia, are going to review the recent developments of the Vistera Project discussed at the Bioforum last week in Shanghai (www.bio-forum.com).
The Vistera Project aims at fostering the transition from the reactive practice of medicine to a more proactive management of health and wellness based on the principles of Systems P4 Medicine (Participatory, Personalized, Predictive and Preventive). It builds upon the results presented by Leroy Hood, the President of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, USA during the EISBM session on systems medicine of the Environmental and Systems Biology conference in Grenoble last April (www.beesy2015.com
Prominent research and hospital centres worldwide* have expressed their interest and commitment to implement an open standard protocol for the collection and integrated analyses of biological and clinical features, including comprehensive genetic, genomic and functional genomics assessments, as well as lifestyle and environmental exposures monitored through connected mobile devices. By monitoring individuals over a long period of time, the Vistera Project will provide them with actionable recommendations to maintain their state of health and wellness, detect early events indicative of a risk or a transition to disease, enabling their management and reversal.
The expectation is that expanding the monitoring from one to millions then billions of individuals over the next 25 years, the Vistera Project will trigger in one generation a reversal of the escalating costs of healthcare management, drug and diagnostic development. All partners of the Vistera Project are committed to respect the privacy of the participants and will implement stringent measures to ensure compliance with national and international regulations on personal data protection.
Andres Metspalu stated: « We are reviewing the information registered in the Estonia biobank for over 50,000 participants and expect that several thousands will qualify as Pioneers of Health and Wellness. »
Samir Brahmachari reflected: « The Vistera Project represents a unique opportunity to leverage traditional knowledge from Eastern medicine together with the most advanced technologies from Western medicine ».
Leroy Hood predicted: « A wide range of opportunities for social and economic developments will emerge that go well beyond the current scope of the biotechnonology and pharmaceutical industry to expand into wellness »
Charles Auffray indicated: « The World Alliance of Health and Wellness anounced in Grenoble will serve as a framework for the participation of many more public and private partners to this collaborative endeavour ».
The Vistera Project initial partners
Alvar Agusti & Josep Roca, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
Charles Auffray, European Institute for Systems Biology and Medicine, Lyon, France
Jacques Beckman, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland
Rudi Balling, Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Samir Brahmachari, Institute for Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India
Alfredo Cesario, Azienda Sant Maria Novella Hospital, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Dominique Charron, Jean Dausset Laboratory, St Louis Hospital, Paris Diderot University, Paris, France
Zhu Chen, Zeguang Han, Ping Ao, Shanghai Centre for Systems Biomedicine and RUi-Jin Hospital, Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
Leroy Hood, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, USA
Martine Laville, Claude Bernard University and Lyon-Sud Hospital, Lyon, France
Antoine Magnan, Thorax Institute, Nantes University and Hospital, Nantes, France
Andres Metspalu, Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Laurent Nicod, Lausanne University and Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
Peter Openshaw, Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Christophe Pison, Jean-Louis Pépin, Patrick Lévy, Grenoble-Alps University and Hospital, Grenoble, France
Peter Sterk, Amsterdam Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Giulio Superti-Furga, Centre for Molecular Medicine, Vienna University and Hospital, Vienna, Austria
Jesper Tegner, Karolinska Institute Hospital and Science for Life Laboratory, Stockholm, Sweden