What is precision medicine?

Precision medicine, also termed personalised medicine, is a process used within the medical field that separates patients into different groups concerning medical decisions, practices, interventions and/or products being tailored to the individual patient based on their predicted response or risk of disease. It will come to no surprise that your genes play a very important role in this.

This personalisation of treatments is in stark contrast with current western medicine, where the “one size fits all” is common practice. If you have high blood pressure, you will receive the same standard drug and dosage as would an other patient, based on statistics. Though your doctor prescribed this drug specifically for you (= personalised), this is not precision medicine.

In practice: 

Patient A is prescribed a painkiller with the standard dose for her age and weight.

After a week she returns for another consultation with the prescribing doctor, complaining about very minimal relief of her symptoms.  The dose was doubled, but to no avail.

After consulting the Precision Medicine Department, a genetic test was done.  It was determined that Patient A could not metabolise the painkiller of choice – this metabolite was the active ingredient.  Conclusion:  Even tenfold, the dose would never have helped.  Instead, another painkiller was chosen to fit the genetic profile of Patient A.

This is but one example of many possible cases, whether in response to blood pressure medication, diabetes treatment, response to anti-virals etc.

IHCH offers precision medicine as a service.

In order to be able to use this service, first you have to have a genetic test done.  Read more about this here . With the results of your test, we will be able to predict your (personal, physical) reaction to a lot of prescription medicines.

 You then can follow this procedure (it will take about 7 weeks in total)

1. Have your genome analysed by ordering a kit via the 23andme website.  Make sure you choose the kit on the right (ancestry+health).  Click “add kit” and fill out your details.

If your data has already been analysed, skip to step 3

2. Follow the instructions on screen.  You will be sent a sample kit for collection of saliva.  Send this back and 6-8 weeks later, your data will be available for you (visible only to you).

3. Once you have received notification from the website that your data is ready, please notify Dr Boerebach via email at:

We will ask you to grant us access to your profile so that we can analyse it and then invite you to a consultation.  It will take us 45 minutes beforehand to prepare for the consultation.  The consultation itself will be one hour.  Follow-up consultations may be needed depending on the results.

At the consultation, we will discuss the most important drug related issues.  If required, we can then examine the results more closely to address any other questions that you may have regarding your medication or health.

You will receive your analysed report on a USB stick for your own reference and/or health research.

The total cost for the analysis, consultation and report, excluding the cost of the kit, is €300.

For appointments or questions please call 070 306 5100 and select the GP Family Practice or email

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