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The Australasian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH) and the Industry Genomics Network Alliance (InGeNA) welcome the announcement by Minister for Health, Greg Hunt to establish Genomics Australia, a national agency to support the integration of genomic medicine as a standard of healthcare in Australia.

AIDH CEO Dr Louise Schaper said, “This is a vital step toward precision healthcare in Australia. All Australians deserve state of the art healthcare, which is tailored towards individual’s needs. Precision health promises to transform the way we prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor our health by taking into account individual genes, environment and lifestyle. The establishment of Genomics Australia is a significant step towards achieving that promise.”

Precision health uses a wide range of information, such as clinical observations, patient generated data, and genomics. It triangulates this information within the context of lifestyle, environment, and medical history to inform and personalise prevention, diagnosis and treatment at an individual, patient cohort, and population level.

Dr Schaper added, “What is needed next is an agenda for developing the evidence-base supporting the use of genomics, establishing the right policies and mature data infrastructure to integrate genomics into healthcare, and most importantly, ensuring our workforce is ready to deliver care in the age of precision health. InGeNA and the Institute, have already commenced this work.”

InGeNA Chair, David Bunker also welcomed the investment by the Federal Government. “Genomic health technologies have the potential to transform healthcare. Innovations in genomics and precision health by Australian industry already have demonstrated impact on the lives and health of many Australians.

“This announcement supports and positions Australia within the international genomics community. It will support industry to position Australia for investment by international companies and support local innovative organisations to get traction on the world stage.

“The genomics industry has a significant role to play in delivering on the promise of genomic medicine and its integration into healthcare.”

With the support of the Institute, InGeNA works alongside State and Federal Governments, consumer groups, academia and professional bodies to enable the adoption of genomics in healthcare and accelerate the benefits of precision health to all Australians.

The AIDH and InGeNA congratulate Professor Kathryn North on her appointment as inaugural chair and look forward to working with Professor North in her new capacity with Genomics Australia.

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