Structuring European biomedical informatics to support individualized healthcare: current issues and future trends.
Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics are disciplines that up to now have followed separate development with few contacts and synergies between them in Europe. The elucidation of the human genome has however evidenced the need and the possibilities for a strong synergy between the two. Classical epidemiological and clinical research on the one hand, and genomic research on the other, separately considered, are no longer enough for advancing in the so-called genomic medicine, and a new integrative approach is required. Biomedical Informatics is the emerging discipline that aims to put these two worlds together so that the discovery and creation of novel diagnostic and therapeutic methods is fostered. On the basis of the results of the European Commission-funded BIOINFOMED Study, an INFOBIOMED Network of Excellence has been recently constituted with the main objective of setting a durable structure for the described collaborative approach at a European level. Initially formed by fifteen renowned European organisations, the main objective of the INFOBIOMED network is therefore to enable the reinforcement of European BMI as an integrative discipline.