Developments in molecular biology and genomics make it increasingly possible to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms of disease. This more specific understanding of disease therefore allows for much more precise treatment to be developed, this has become known as stratified medicine. These developments have the potential to allow much earlier diagnosis and treatment of disease and could lead to cultural shifts in our understanding of disease and the role of our health services in responding to it.
In 2013 Innovate UK commissioned a Sciencewise-supported public dialogue to explore public views on the human issues raised by stratified medicine, the implications for how it is delivered and what that will mean for those who are and are not able to benefit from it. This dialogue involved 19 workshops bringing together over 150 people which explored this issues with members of the public using various methods such as public workshops, targeted workshops and self-facilitated workshops to allow for comparison of outputs from each.
The results from these workshops were pulled together in a headline report which was then discussed at a stakeholder workshop which focused on taking these outputs further. The success of this dialogue was also important in increasing Innovate UK’s confidence in using public dialogue as a policy tool in the future.
This dialogue was delivered by OPM / Dialogue by Design and was evaluated by 3KQ.