The Vision: Attaining Customized Remedies
SkinTreat's main objective is to provide customized remedies that manage skin syndromes. The project aims to develop and validate nano-chemical and bio-technologies to achieve an accurate match among drugs, drug delivery vehicles, skin diseases and sub-pathogenic skin conditions per individual. The project will lead to a new generation of pharmaceutical products, as well as personalized consumer services, which tailor a more efficient and beneficial remedy to the customer's needs. The development of personalized skin therapy protocols will include both non invasive methods and minimal invasive skin sampling, thus achieving accurate diagnoses of skin condition, extensive analyses of biological markers and the establishment of biological profiles corresponding to skin diseases and subpathologic skin conditions. A bioinformatics data mining algorithm will be developed together with multifunctional biomarker analysis software and a computerized decision support system, to obtain a refined personalized diagnosis, and to propose a personalized prescription. The SkinTreat concept will be evaluated by a pilot study.
For years, it has been noted that patients which are categorized as having a defined skin syndrome, may nevertheless respond differently to the same treatments. SkinTreat aims to revolutionize the way dermatologists manage patients: Every meeting between a dermatologist and a client would lead to a molecular-based skin specification, and the development of a unique personal remedy targeting the client's "one man syndrome". All patients should be treated based on their own individual "epidermal personalities", defined by unique and specific sets of skin features, characteristics and conditions.
Sophisticated software tools are needed for statistical analysis of biomarker profiles associated with clinical conditions and with drug administration. Therefore, a protocol for data mining bio-informatics data will be developed, along with biomarker profile analysis software. Individual data on patients' history, diagnosis and therapeutics will be also considered for the development of a fully personalized skin treatment. The SkinTreat Information System will include Decision Support tools which will assist dermatologists to accurately diagnose and prescribe more suitable therapies.
Furthermore, SkinTreat will include the development of a wet pilot in which customized demands regarding the final product will be considered, accompanied by the development of personalized services and marketing strategies.
The following figure illustrates the project concept.
AFCON's role in the project
Afcon Software and Electronics is leading the ICT (Information Communication Technologies) work package (WP4), which will develop a personalized ICT system that will assist dermatologists in diagnosing and prescribing therapies for individual patients based on clinical and biological parameters.
This Information System will support the generation of patient's skin database, and will include a Decision Support system (DSS) which will help doctors to characterize individuals' skin, diagnose "one man skin syndrome", design optimal treatment and personal drug prescription, thus forming a fully personalized skin treatment approach. The DSS utilizes advanced statistical and rule-based tools, data mining algorithms and feature extraction tools to analyze and capture current accumulated knowledge and future findings in skin therapy and pharmacology.
Afcon is in charge of all aspects of the system's development, including requirements specification and analysis, system architecture and design, implementation, as well as system integration and validation.
Additionally, Afcon is involved in other aspects of the project , such as laboratory testing and the training of field operators and participants .
Additional participants in the SkinTreat project are Dead Sea Laboratories, Sistemas Genomicos (Spain), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Pisa (Italy), and other companies and organizations from Norway, Germany, France, and more.