Qatar Genome Second Symposium was held at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha on the 29thand 30thApril 2018. There were 3,300 delegates registered to attend the symposium which was focussing on “Ethics, Regulations, and best Practices in Genomic Medicine”.
Kathy Farndon, Partner in IT Health Partnership was invited as the keynote speaker and she was asked to speak about “Genomic Data – exploring some of the Challenges and Opportunities” and the session was very well received by the large audience of clinicians, researchers and academics.
There were many countries represented at the symposium and it was very interesting to hear how they were facing similar challenges and the solutions they were working on – learning from each other in a truly collaborative way.
The venue where the Symposium was held, the Qatar National Convention Centre is a spectacular building and the symposium was held in the main conference hall which seats 4,000 people in a theatre style.
The event was supported by the Research Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) and many of the sessions on the second day related to the challenges faced in relation to genetic counselling, consent, incidental findings and research and also discussed these challenges from an Islamic perspective and the higher objectives (Maqasid) of Sharia. The Symposium was incredibly well organised and all attendees went away with a much deeper knowledge and understanding of the fact that we are just at the beginning of this incredibly exciting journey into genomic medicine. We still have so much to learn about the benefits genomic medicine can bring in population health and, in the precision/targeted pharmacological treatment of diseases. By working together and adopting the use of technology to assist in the analysis of this incredibly ‘BIG’ data and creation of decision support tools we can make a real difference to the way clinical care is provided resulting in better patient outcomes in the future.