The potential of precision psychiatry: what is in reach?

Lana Kambeitz-Ilankovic, Nikolaos Koutsouleris, Rachel Upthegrove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Progress in developing personalised care for mental disorders is supported by numerous proof-of-concept machine learning studies in the area of risk assessment, diagnostics and precision prescribing. Most of these studies primarily use clinical data, but models might benefit from additional neuroimaging, blood and genetic data to improve accuracy. Combined, multimodal models might offer potential for stratification of patients for treatment. Clinical implementation of machine learning is impeded by a lack of wider generalisability, with efforts primarily focused on psychosis and dementia. Studies across all diagnostic groups should work to test the robustness of machine learning models, which is an essential first step to clinical implementation, and then move to prospective clinical validation. Models need to exceed clinicians' heuristics to be useful, and safe, in routine decision-making. Engagement of clinicians, researchers and patients in digitalisation and 'big data' approaches are vital to allow the generation and accessibility of large, longitudinal, prospective data needed for precision psychiatry to be applied into real-world psychiatric care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-178
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Precision psychiatry
  • biomarkers
  • machine learning
  • risk assessment
  • treatment response


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