Thursday 23 July saw senior leaders join the virtual launch of The AHSN Network report: Genomic Innovation: technologies for personalised medicine.

The virtual launch was led and hosted by The AHSN Network and chaired by Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of NHS Confederation. The event opened with a short film to present the report, which hears from Sir Mark Caulfield, Chief Scientist from Genomics England as well as Hilary Newiss, Chair of National Voices and Matt Whitty, Interim Chief Executive of Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) together with colleagues from industry body ABPI, Health Education England and the report authors from PHG Foundation and The AHSN Network.


Earlier in 2020 The AHSN Network commissioned the PHG Foundation to produce a report that presents an evidence review of genomics and genomics-related technologies that will have an impact on the delivery of personalised medicine within two to three years or even sooner given the current pace of change arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the pace of developments in healtcare innovation and personalised medicine, together with the genomics focus of the AHSN’s personalised medicine work programme, technologies with an ‘omics component were selected for analysis in a report commissioned by the Network. Each technology presents an opportunity for The AHSN Network to support innovation adoption and spread.

The report builds on the 2018 PHG Foundation publication ‘The Personalised Medicine Technology Landscape’ from Professor Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer and SRO for Genomics, NHS England, and underpins The AHSN Networks work in delivering  a thematic programme on personalised medicine, established to support the implementation of novel diagnostic and treatment approaches that make use of genomics and other ‘omics technologies.

This new report focuses on five diagnostic and treatment areas;

  • ctDNA testing
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Transcriptomics
  • Testing to support antimicrobial stewardship
  • Genetically modified regenerative medicines.

Around each of these the report considers the value and opportunities provided both now and in the future from the perspectives of clinicians, patients and system leaders – discussions also heard fascinating insights into the potential rapid adoption of these novel diagnostic and treatment approaches in light of the recent phenomenal pace of change during the pandemic.

A rich discussion was had around the challenges and opportunities highlighted by the evidence in the report, and early considerations to the impact of this review on different stakeholders in a hugely complex system and how these innovative technologies can be implemented in these uncharted times began to emerge.

Highlights of the discussion and next steps will be published in the coming days and will include how this work will be taken forward. Read the full report and the executive summary.

Participants in the discussion included;

  • Niall Dickson – CEO, NHS Confederation
  • Tony Davis – Director Innovation & Economic Growth, West Midlands AHSN
  • Natasha Swinscoe – CEO, West of England AHSN
  • Laura Blackburn – Head of Science, PHG Foundation (report co-author)
  • Mark Kroese – Director, PHG Foundation (report co-author)
  • Sonali Sanghvi – Pharmacy Lead, Genomics Unit, NHS England
  • Doris-Ann Williams – CEO BIVDA
  • Luella Trickett – Director, Value & Access, ABHI
  • Bryan Deane – New Medicines & Data Policy Director, ABPI
  • Matt Whitty – Interim CEO, AAC
  • Tim Horton – Assistant Director, The Health Foundation
  • Dr Alison Tavaré – GP and primary care lead, West of England AHSN
  • Professor Rob Bristow – Director, Manchester Cancer Research Centre, Chief Academic Officer & Honorary Consultant, Christie NHS FT
  • Dr Anneke Seller – Scientific Director and Head of Genomics Education Programme
  • Hilary Newiss – Chair, National Voices
  • Mike Burrows – National Coordination Director, The AHSN Network