According to the latest report on the Health Status of Europe, the main causes of death in European Union countries are represented by chronic diseases, including circulatory diseases and various types of cancer, followed by respiratory disease. These are also the most prevalent diseases, reducing quality of life. Moreover, every year, 900,000 people in the EU die prematurely due to risk factors that can largely be prevented. As highlighted by the European Steering Group on Sustainable Healthcare, the implementation of sustainable and high value healthcare requires a shift from treatment of established diseases, to “person-centered” disease prevention and early diagnosis, where citizens and patients are equal and active partners in their care.

As such, the broader health system, beyond health care, needs to be engaged, and individual risk should be addressed in a community context, especially for primary prevention in healthy individuals. There is thus a need to integrate traditional public health approaches in disease prevention with personalized approaches that include -omics profiling and digital technologies.

Although conceptually, Personalized Prevention may be seen as a natural evolution of personalized medicines, in practical terms it may well represent a major disruption for healthcare systems, implying an integration of the traditional public health approaches in prevention that have a population perspective with a new one that is based on the individuals’ characteristics. This emerging field combines data at the individual level on biomarkers and behaviour, with societal/environmental data to increase precision and effectiveness of health promotion, preventive, diagnostic and curative actions. Major reforms in healthcare systems are therefore necessary, that include, not only solid biomedical knowledge, but also evidence for economic sustainability for policy makers and healthcare administrators and investment in novel technologies.

  • To summarize, integrate different types of information, evaluate and discuss with all the relevant stakeholders the extent to which new technologies can synergize across biomarkers, behaviour and environmental level and give added value in terms of improved outcomes and quality of life before a proper implementation into healthcare and health systems.
  • To engage healthcare professionals on the potential and challenges of the use of current technologies in Personalized Prevention, especially public health professionals that work at the interface with policy makers.
  • To increase health literacy at the population level on the potential for Personalized Prevention to save lives or to improve quality of life. In a context of limited resources, citizens must be empowered to adopt healthy lifestyles, also through the use of new digital technologies, in order to ensure the sustainability of health systems.

The overall objective of PROPHET is co-create with stakeholders a Personalized Prevention Roadmap for the future healthcare, in order to support the definition and implementation of innovative, sustainable and high-quality personalized strategies that are effective in preventing chronic diseases.

Our 6 specific objectives are:

  1. To foster the collaboration among stakeholders in the field of Personalized Prevention towards the definition and implementation of a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda on Personalized Prevention
  2. To have a full understanding of the research advancements in Personalized Prevention
  3. To understand the effectiveness, the clinical utility, key success factors and gaps of current personalized preventive approaches and their potential to be to be scaled up
  4. To support public health authorities and to strengthen their capacity in designing, assessing and implementing personalized preventive approaches through the use of the PROPHET holistic framework
  5. To raise awareness among citizens including patients on the potential of Personalized Prevention to improve quality of life and health outcomes, and engage them in defining personalized preventive services accepted and used by the public
  6. To raise awareness among Health Professionals, Life Sciences Companies, Insurers, Regulators and Policy Makers on the importance of creating collaborative relationships, also with the research community, for an effective and quick adoption of Personalized Prevention approaches

PROPHET vision endorses the ICPerMed vision of “next-generation” medicine in 2030 that is firmly centered on the individual’s personal characteristics and equitable access for all citizens to the best possible healthcare where Personalized Prevention is at the core.

PROPHET is centered around stakeholder engagement and the SRIA co-creation process in relation to three main strands of activities: Mapping, Assessment, and Building. Firstly, we will summarize, evaluate and discuss with the relevant stakeholders the extent to which all these new technologies can synergize (Mapping). Secondly, we will design a holistic framework (the PROPHET Framework) that will include all the necessary aspects to appraise Personalized Prevention approaches and their adoption by Public Health Authorities (Assessment). Thirdly, we will support the introduction of Personalised Prevention Programs by providing guidelines for their design, engaging with healthcare professionals (especially those working with policy makers), and increasing health literacy at the population level on the benefits of Personalized Prevention (Building).

Personalized prevention aims to prevent onset, progression and recurrence of disease through the adoption of targeted intervention that consider the biological information, environmental and behavioral characteristics, socioeconomic and cultural context of individuals. This should be timely effective and equitable in order to maintain the possible balance in lifetime health trajectory.

Greater insights from genomics / other omics data and increased funding and attention on personalized medicine in general hold the potential to usher in a new era of Personalized Prevention that can have a major impact on health care. In order to fulfil this promise, we need to approach Personalized Prevention by taking into account contributions deriving from previous and current initiatives in the field and scale them up in an integrated approach across three levels: genomics/biomarkers, individual behaviour and environment/societal factors, and let the approach be influenced by relevant stakeholders.

PROPHET project is lead by Universita Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore (Roma, Italy) and  involves 18 partners from 12 different EU Member States plus UK.


PROPHET Coordination and Management



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