The principal aim of Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology Review is to provide concise, timely articles highlighting clinical advances relevant to the management of those with arrhythmias. The Editors have also from the outset1 emphasised the substantial gaps in our capacity inter alia to predict those at risk of sudden death, understand atrial fibrillation mechanisms and provide effective and safe drug treatment. In these and other areas of clinical practice many of our efforts will in hindsight be seen, despite all our best efforts, to have been primitive.2
We are however fortunate in that the characteristics of the diseases that provide our daily bread are most open to quantification amongst any of the sub-specialities.2 Precision medicine, ‘an approach to disease treatment and prevention that seeks to maximise effectiveness by taking into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle’,3 and a term coined for inclusion in a US National Research Council report4 has achieved recent prominence following the announcement by President Obama of enhanced, targeted funding in his State of the Union Address on 20 January 2015. 3,5–7
As an exemplar excitable tissue the heart differs from the brain8 in being accessible, relatively simple and in many aspects experimentally tractable.2 In the coming issues this journal will continue to address genetic, epigenetic and phenotypic aspects determining individual variability to clinical presentation. The whole community should contribute to national and international research programs that through deeper phenotyping, 9–11 extended data gathering and an analysis of ever-larger datasets promise to provide contemporary templates for effective, efficient clinical care.
Andrew Grace, Section Editor – Arrhythmia Mechanisms / Basic Science
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom