Precision Child Health:
A new era of care
Precision Child Health is a movement that aims to understand each child’s health by integrating all the information they share about themselves, from their genetic code to their postal code, to provide individualized care that attends their unique characteristics. Precision Child Health is a key pillar of SickKids 2025, the 2020–2025 SickKids Strategic Plan.
With Precision Child Health, we will start to diagnose faster, treat smarter and predict better by:
- Ensuring every patient has the opportunity to engage in, and the right to benefit from, research
- Leveraging artificial intelligence to integrate the big data spanning the genetic code to the postal code
- Fueling discovery and accelerating translation to groundbreaking clinical trials and care
We know that with the right information in hand, a diagnosis can quickly follow. Using new technologies, like genome sequencing and rapid diagnostic tests along with integrated environmental information, not only can we shorten the time between the onset of disease and receiving a definitive medical diagnosis, we can better understand how the disease course will be modified by the environment for each individual child. Ultimately a faster diagnosis that is contextually meaningful will enable more targeted and effective treatments, or care management plans, sooner.
How we’re achieving this:
- Creating new pathways for patients and families to easily and equitably access research opportunities, including expanding access to whole genome sequencing
- Evaluating, assessing and implementing new and cutting-edge diagnostic tools in a safe and effective way
Treating smarter means enabling the development of new and novel precision therapies and delivering them safely and effectively to patients to address their unique disease or condition. This is not an easy feat, which is why SickKids is enlisting the help of local, national, and international partners. Together we’ll enable new therapies, surgical interventions and medical devices, all while improving access to such treatments.
How we're achieving this:
- Advancing local, national and international partnerships, both in industry as well as institutional to expand access to novel and emerging therapies for our patients
- Launching an Advanced Therapeutics Board to advise on and support an equitable approach to bringing next generation therapies into fruition
What if we could stop disease before it starts and promote wellness? Precision Child Health aims to move us away from reactive care, and instead promoting wellness not only by preventing disease before it happens but by promoting factors that encourage healthy lives and wellness. Using deep learning, AI and clinical decision-support tools, we’ll unlock the power of data to help us better understand what might come, prevent unnecessary tests, reduce harm and risks, avoid adverse drug reactions and improve the patient experience by promoting the maintenance of wellness.
How we're achieving this:
- Enabling new data structures and connections, integrated with the patient’s chart, to ensure a full understanding of the whole child in front of us
- By using pharmacogenetics to better predict how each child might respond to medication
September 21, 2023
Precision Child Health pushes past the limits of one-size-fits-all medicine to focus on individualized care.
August 17, 2023
A technique known as rapid genome sequencing has provided a diagnosis for 43 per cent of infants with unexplained epilepsy and informed their care in an international partnership.
July 27, 2023
Through precision medicine and at-risk screening approaches, SickKids research projects aim to advance early intervention and equitable care for children and youth with diabetes.