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Aug 23, 2021
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15 Ways Medical Digital Twins Will Transform Healthcare

Medical digital twins will transform healthcare and there is no doubt about that. Digital Twin can help doctors and healthcare professionals make better decisions. They can provide insights to improve patient care, reduce errors, and cut costs. 

The digital twin revolution is here, and it will shake up the healthcare industry. Healthcare is a $3 trillion global industry that employs one in ten Americans. The changes coming to this industry will be so pervasive that they'll touch every aspect of our lives. 

For example, some experts predict that by 2020 as many as half of all medical procedures could be performed virtually using 3D printing technology with doctors controlling robots remotely from miles away! 

This post will explore 15 ways medical digital twins will transform the way we deliver healthcare in the future.    

Read on to learn more about this innovative new technology!

1) Identifying Drug Risks: 

Researchers in pharmaceuticals are using digital twins to identify how different drugs could affect people's hearts. It also helps them determine which combinations would be most effective and safe for patients with cardiovascular issues, all while doing it more cost-effectively than manual testing methods can provide. 

Pharmaceutical researchers have already built a basic model covering 23 drug types so far. We don't know whether they will extend this research.

However, we might see new medications coming out faster and cheaper if they do it. In addition, tests will become more accessible by cutting short design, examination, approval, and launch of new drugs.

The best part of it is that it won't raise any safety concerns along the way!

2) Simulate Human Variability

We can build perfect medical devices. However, humans are imperfect. Human bodies are different from each other. Such as bone variations or muscle movement can become an issue for those who rely on medical equipment to function correctly every day.  

Minor variations in human bodies affect the performance and fitness of medical devices. Virtonomy, a medical engineering company, is helping medical equipment makers to simulate human and animal variability in the browser. 

The German company supports medical device manufacturers in the various phases of the product life cycle, from the concept phase to post-market surveillance. 

3) Generating Patient-Specific Digital Twin

The FDA is one step closer to allowing companies the ability to sell the software-as-a a medical device. The idea behind this regulatory framework is generating a patient-specific digital twin from different data sources, including lab tests, ultrasound measurements of your organs or muscles in use-- you name it! 

It will not only help with innovations for current medical equipment but also future treatments like pacemakers, automated insulin pumps, and novel brain treatment procedures where they can optimize specific components based on patients' needs

Not only can these digital twins help doctors diagnose patients more quickly with better accuracy, but they also have the power to predict the things that may go wrong. 

4) Providing detailed Explanation of the Patient's Health Data

David Talby, the CTO of John Snow Labs, said that digital twins are helping caregivers capture and find information shared across physicians. He spoke about how it can also provide better care for patients who see their primary physician or specialist. 

The doctor might not know about what happened at other appointments with different doctors or nurses who took notes on things like blood pressure readings or actual lab results. So, they will have a baseline understanding of the patient's medical history and medications with this technology. 

A digital twin can offer a more detailed explanation of the patient's health data and present it in an easily digestible way. It uses natural language processing (NLP) and captures all data points concisely with an accurate clinical context for providers.

It means that providers no longer need to sift through lots of different tabs on their computer screens or folders full of paper records, which saves time so they can spend less time searching for relevant information.

medical digital twins will transform healthcare

5) Personalized Health Information

Digital health services are coming into vogue as a result of the pandemic. 

A digital twin allows you to keep up on how healthy you are by tracking symptoms, moods, fitness routines from anywhere in the world using an app!

For example, Babylon Health's App for health checks captures data from patients. It creates digital twin profiles that allow doctors to diagnose them faster than before, vital in combating this deadly virus.

Apple Watch has helped people to use this product for their health needs. The watch provides accurate data. In addition, it can sync with other devices like a heart-rate monitor or GPS device to track information about your mental state. 

6) Medical Digital Twins will transform Healthcare with Genomic Medicine

Swedish researchers have been mapping mice RNA into a digital twin that can help predict the effect of different types and doses of arthritis drugs. The goal is to personalize human diagnosis and treatment using RNA, which will be invaluable in aiding doctors with their decision-making process for complicated patients who may need personalized care.

The researchers have discovered that medication is not as effective at treating patients 40% of the time. Similar techniques are also mapping characteristics of human T-cells to diagnose common diseases earlier when they're more responsive and affordable for treatment, which can help save lives in developing countries where people cannot afford medical care.

7) Predicting Medication with Digital Twins: 

The first step includes collecting data about the patient's age and lifestyle, which helps tailor the digital twin for optimal results with predicting medication effects based on these factors. 

Furthermore, patients can report back if they notice any changes when taking different dosages, so their information can be used as an additional calibration tool for accuracy within this process.

8) Value-Based Healthcare

The rising cost of healthcare is one concern that many nations are trying to combat. One way they're doing this is by exploring new incentive models for how drugs, interventions, and treatments will be valued based on their outcomes--not the costs incurred during production or development. 

The basic idea behind it all is that participants--drug companies among them--will only get compensated proportionate to their impact on those results, encouraging more collaboration with hospitals to produce better care at a lower price than we see today.

Imagine a future where your digital twin has all the information about you and can input any decision for possible health concerns. In addition, new types of relationships will be able to form between providers, patients, insurers, and employers as these new 'twins' allow us to create personalized, tailored plans with their help.

9) Better Drug Absorption 

Researchers at Oklahoma State have been working with Ansys to develop a digital twin of the lungs to help them design more effective drug delivery. Unfortunately, they found out only 20% of many drugs reached their target. 

Still, using models and simulations, they were able to redesign how big each pill needed to be for 90% of it to get to its destination-the same place as before and changing the composition so particles could better break down on entry into blood vessels.

10) Whole Body Scanner: 

Q-Bios can be a great example to discuss. Q-Bios is the first clinical digital twin platform that harnessed the ability of digital twins to replicate anything indifferently. 

Q Bios Gemini Digital Twin platform has built Mark-I, a computational biophysics model to scan the whole body. The company reported that Mark- I will examine the human body in 15 minutes and doesn't require radiation or breathe of the actual person. 

Q Bios Gemini has claimed that Mark- I can work 10X better than the traditional MRI scanners for many critical diagnoses. In addition, Mark-I, the computational model, can eliminate bias or hallucination risk from AI and machine learning. 

Another most significant advantage of the Mark-I is that it shields the patients from exposure to too much radiation, protecting them from running into the risks of developing cancer cells in the future. 

Q Bios Gemini has received over $80 million from Andreessen Horowitz and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals to develop and expand its breakthrough whole-body scanning technologies. In the future, the full-body scanning tech from Q Bios Gemini will provide data-driven and affordable care for all.

medical digital twins will transform healthcare

11) Minimizing Risks in Surgeries:  

Medical and software companies collaborate with digital twinning to create exact replicates of human body organs like the heart and the brain. The aim is to minimize risks in critical surgeries and aid organ donations. 

Sim & Cure, a medical technology company, has built a digital twin called Sim&Size. This digital twin simulation will make brain surgery safer for Aneurysms patients as they will need less invasive surgery using catheters to install implants. 

12) Shortening Medical Administrative Protocols: 

Siemens Healthineers has been working with the Medical University of South Carolina to improve hospital efficiency by creating a seamless process for treating stroke patients. 

It is important since early treatment can make all the difference but requires coordination between departments and hospital systems. 

They are implementing new workflow analysis, system redesigns, and process improvement methodologies.

13) Customize New Medical Equipment:  

Philips has developed a predictive maintenance program that collates data from over 15,000 medical imaging devices. Their engineers are using digital twin technology to customize new medical equipment for the needs of different customers.

In addition, it is applying similar principles across all of its medical equipment and hoping this will improve uptime and make things more efficient overall.

14) Virtualized Hospitals

The GE Healthcare Command Center aims to virtualized hospitals and test ideas to determine the best organizational performance. 

With modules for evaluating operational strategy, capacities, staffing models, healthcare delivery models, and managers can experiment with different ideas without risk piloting any one idea.

15) Virtual Organs

The digital transformation of the healthcare industry is breathtaking as well. For example, the use of the Digital Twin in healthcare has helped to develop digital twins of organs and other anatomical structures, personalizing the medical devices to meet the individual needs of patients.

For instance, Dassault Systèmes SE, a French software company, developed a Digital Twin heart using MRI images and ECG measurements. This digital twin of the heart replicates the structure and some functions of the human heart. Now, heart surgeons can feed the patient data into the Digital Twin heart to determine whether the surgery will be successful. 

Dassault Systèmes SE has launched the Living Heart Project in collaboration with academic and industrial members like Philips and Boston. All the Living Heart Project members are working together to build safer and effective cardiac devices for patients. 

The Digital Twin is no longer a hypothesis in the healthcare sector as it's already in use and expanding to make procedures of organ donation and surgery safer. 

Conclusion: 

The medical digital twin concept is an exciting opportunity to improve how we deliver healthcare in the future.

It can help doctors, and healthcare professionals make better decisions, provide insights for patient care, reduce errors, and cut costs.

 What are your thoughts on this new technology? We'd love to hear about them!  

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