Personalization in biomedical-informatics: methodological considerations and recommendations
Publication date: Available online 8 January 2019
Source: Journal of Biomedical Informatics
Author(s): Maurits Kaptein
Over the last decades there has been an increasing interest in personalization: can we make sure that treatments are effective for individual patients? The quest for personalization affects biomedical informatics in two ways: first, we design systems—for example eHealth applications—that directly interact with patients and these systems might themselves one day be personalized. Hence, we seek effective methods to do so. Second, we design systems that collect the data which will one day be used to personalize treatments: hence, we need to critically consider design requirements that improve the utility of (e.g.,) personal health records for future treatment personalization. By clearly defining personalization and analyzing the effectiveness of different personalization methods this discussion highlights how we should embrace sequential experimentation—as opposed to the traditional randomized trial—if we want to personalize our informatics systems efficiently. Furthermore, we need to make sure that we capture the treatment assignment process in our health records: doing so will greatly increase the utility of the collected data for future personalization attempts.