National Medicines Symposium shines light on the future of personalised medicine

Delegates were treated to insights into the ‘here and now’ along with the future of healthcare from advances in genomics and precision medicine, digital transformation of the system, learning knowledge-based systems and personalised diagnostic tools and treatments.

Over 300 attendees from across the health sector gathered to consider the shift from population to personalised health care. Stimulating talks looked to the future of treatments, tests and the policy and regulatory systems underpinning health delivery in Australia and aboard. Symposium highlights included a fascinating keynote by Professor Jeremy Nicholson, from Imperial College London, who demonstrated diagnostic and prognostic data tools that give a complete picture of an individual’s biochemical makeup to better inform treatment and surgery.

The digital stream explored governance of personal health data and its use in policy development while the latest research reviewed the potential of digital tools such as avatars and social media messaging. The antimicrobial resistance stream was popular, providing insights into Australia’s response to this public health crisis, and innovations in clinical practice, drug discovery and point of care testing for bacterial versus viral infections.

Other discussions over the two days included:

  • The need for learning knowledge-based healthcare systems and how self-organisation, coupled with organisational resilience will lead to the engagement and empowerment of practitioners and support staff on the front line.
  • Adaptive pathways and balancing patient access to new therapies in the absence of complete evidence.
  • Phenotyping the patient journey – how systems biology tools can capture metabolic datasets that radically improve diagnostic and prognostic biomarker generation helping practitioners to make better informed decisions at point-of-care.

NPS MedicineWise Executive Manager and Chair of the NMS 2018 Program Committee, Ms Kerren Hosking, says, “NPS MedicineWise hosts NMS every two years to shine a light on quality use of health technologies and the latest evidence, research and innovations to support good health decision making. This year NMS explored the impact of personalised medicine across the health sector now, and how we might respond to some of the challenges ahead, and gave delegates access to thought-provoking thinking in this space.”

Selected podcasts from key NMS 2018 sessions will be available in the coming weeks on the NPS MedicineWise website. Digital posters are also available:

The next National Medicines Symposium will be held in 2020.



About NMS 2018 

The tenth National Medicines Symposium 2018 was held from 31 May to 1 June 2018 at the National Convention Centre in Canberra. This leading biennial symposium brings together experts from across Australia and abroad to discuss and debate local and global approaches to quality use of medicines, and health technologies.

The theme for NMS 2018 was Population to Personal Healthcare: The future is now.


Media contact

Eve Hanks
0419 618 365, [email protected]