Team CDE – Alvaro Sanchez Herrero

Alvaro is a Senior RA at the Centre for the Digital Economy and academic within the QUT Business School. Alvaro joined the CDE in February 2020 after lodging his PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

What is your research focus?

My research focuses on healthcare and new technologies, more specifically, genomics. We are closely working with Queensland Genomics, a Qld Health-funded organisation that aims to establish genomics and personalised medicine in QLD’s health system. Genomics is a series of tools that allow to diagnose, treat and prevent almost any disease you can imagine. It is currently not a day-to-day practice due to many reasons such as cost, technical difficulties and poor education of the workforce. Queensland Genomics is trying to make genomics something you will see at every hospital!

What excites you most about the digital economy?

To be completely honest, I learnt about it a few months ago. I am a pharmacist, and unfortunately, in the laboratory, we do not hear much about this. I think that in healthcare will see a massive change in the next decade, as described in the great work about Health 5.0 (have a look at it!).

Are you an optimist or pessimist about the future?

I am completely optimistic (can’t really help it with my Spanish heritage). I truly believe in this imminent healthcare revolution, where genomics and personalised medicine will become something everyone will have access to. I think that during the COVID crisis we have all started to value more the importance of a solid, reliable and technically advanced healthcare system, and I am sure governments will start to direct more resources towards it. Exciting times are coming!

Finish this sentence: In 2050, there will be…

In the year 2050 (if not before!) patients will have their genomes sequenced at birth, and every diagnosis and treatment of all conditions you may have during your life will be specifically tailored to that. Also, advice on lifestyle, such as nutrition, will be custom made.

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