Success in precision medicine depends on accessing high-quality genetic and molecular data from large, well-annotated patient cohorts that couple biological samples to comprehensive clinical data, which in conjunction can lead to effective therapies.
From such a scenario emerges the need for a new professional profile, an expert bioinformatician with training in clinical areas who can make sense of multi-omics data to improve therapeutic interventions in patients, and the design of optimized basket trials. In this review, we first describe the main policies and international initiatives that focus on precision medicine. Secondly, we review the currently ongoing clinical trials in precision medicine, introducing the concept of ‘precision bioinformatics’, and we describe current pioneering bioinformatics efforts aimed at implementing tools and computational infrastructures for precision medicine in health institutions around the world. Thirdly, we discuss the challenges related to the clinical training of bioinformaticians, and the urgent need for computational specialists capable of assimilating medical terminologies and protocols to address real clinical questions. We also propose some skills required to carry out common tasks in clinical bioinformatics and some tips for emergent groups. Finally, we explore the future perspectives and the challenges faced by precision medicine bioinformatics.