A small set of so-called pharmacogenes has an impact on the safety and efficacy of many common medications. The Medicine Safety Code makes data about these these pharmacogenes available whenever needed during medical care.→ tell me more
Patients have full control over their genetic data, just as they have full control over the content of their wallets. The Medicine Safety Code is based on open standards and open-source software.→ tell me more
The 2D barcodes can be quickly decoded with any smartphone to yield recommendations for tailoring pharmacotherapy based on an individual's genetic profile.→ tell me more
The availability of pharmacogenomic data of individual patients can significantly improve physicians' prescribing behaviour and lead to a reduced incidence of adverse drug events and an improvement of effectiveness of treatment. Unfortunately, major barriers to the wide-spread implementation of pharmacogenomics in clinical practice remain:
To make patient genotype data on essential pharmacogenes globally available for routine medical care, technologically-simple and intuitive systems are required in order to minimize the need for specialized infrastructure, software, and knowledge. The Medicine Safety Code initiative is an effort to improve the ability of clinicians and patients to share pharmacogenetic data and to use it at the point of care. This system consists of two major components:
A proof-of-concept prototype of the MSC system has been developed and performed well in preliminary tests. For the prototype, data on 385 pharmacogenetic markers were encoded as a 2D barcode, which could quickly be decoded and interpreted using standard smartphone devices.
The MSC could act as an enabling technology for the widespread dissemination and clinical implementation of pharmacogenetic data and decision support for several reasons:
The MSC is intended to complement local pharmacogenomics initiatives by providing a simple method for making pharmacogenetic data more portable across geographic regions and health care networks.
The MSC is a technologically-simple and intuitive system that could address many of the barriers that limit the ability to share and utilize pharmacogenetic test results in clinical practice, but the true potential of this project will not be realized until the MSC is tested in different scenarios. Partnerships with clinical institutions, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, genetic testing providers, health IT companies and governmental organizations are needed.
To start participating in the Medicine Safety Code initiative, or to be kept up-to-date with new developments, please join the (low-traffic) Google Group / mailing list of the initiative:
Demos of the MSC system and peer-reviewed scientific papers explaining the system in depth.+ Learn more
Create your own Medicine Safety Codes by uploading genetic data in VCF or 23andMe format.+ Go to upload form
Participate in the initiative or keep yourself up-to-date by subscribing to the MSC mailing list!+ Learn more