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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2013 May 1;20(3):409-12. doi: 10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001275. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

Pharmacogenomics in the pocket of every patient? A prototype based on quick response codes.

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Section for Medical Expert and Knowledge-Based Systems, Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics, and Intelligent Systems, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


A sizable fraction of patients experiences adverse drug events or lack of drug efficacy. A part of this variability in drug response can be explained by genetic differences between patients. However, pharmacogenomic data as well as computational clinical decision support systems for interpreting such data are still unavailable in most healthcare settings. We address this problem by introducing the medicine safety code (MSC), which captures compressed pharmacogenomic data in a two-dimensional barcode that can be carried in a patient's wallet. We successfully encoded data about 385 genetic polymorphisms in MSC and were able to decode and interpret MSC quickly with common mobile devices. The MSC could make individual pharmacogenomic data and decision support available in a wide variety of healthcare settings without the set up of large-scale infrastructures or centralized databases.

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