Personalised medicine is said to be closer to yielding widespread benefits, and to a limited extent has already arrived. The treatment of many illnesses, however, remains a process of trial and error: widely prescribed drugs can be ineffective for many people and some even do serious harm. In a world of personalised medicine, doctors could distinguish which patients would benefit from a drug, allowing reductions in unnecessary treatment.
By contrast, nanotechnology comprises a range of micro-technologies. The best-known include fabrics that resist stains and odours through particle combinations. Just $1 billion a year is going into nanotechnology in the US, mainly through start-ups.
Source: Personalised medicine and nanotechnology: trying to bring dreams to market
Knowledge@Wharton, 3 March 2006
Review by Steve Lodge