A genetic "credit card" holding a patient’s personalised details could one day revolutionise the way doctors decide on which treatment to give, according to researchers.

A team in Israel is looking at how a patient’s genome – their entire genetic make-up – could be stored on a card that a doctor can swipe on to a computer to help choose the appropriate medication and the right dose.

Eventually it is hoped new personalised drugs can be developed according to the patient’s genome.

Professor Ariel Miller, from Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Carmel Medical Centre in Haifa, said he believed such a medical future was more than just a pipe dream.

This was despite a report from the UK’s Royal Society which last year claimed that the prospect of personalised medicines based on a patient’s genetic make-up being widely available in the near future had been over-hyped.

It said the era of personalised medicines was at least 15 to 20 years away.

Prof Miller is leading a team of scientists and engineers attempting to locate genes that will enable doctors to tailor drug therapy to each patient.

The project will help prevent side-effects and the resultant hospitalisation, and will avoid giving medication that is not appropriate.

They believe this could solve the problem of deciding which drug to give a patient and at what dose.

More here.