The “digital twins for health” cluster envisions to take the necessary leaps towards a goal-oriented interdisciplinary community with strategic recognition across European scientists and value chain stakeholders as a continuously evolving ecosystem. Towards this endeavour it launches a platform and body of work to unify digital healthcare and well-being in Europe.
The digital twins community is a starting point for a revolution in personalized healthcare and disease prevention, therapy and monitoring system in Europe, based on human digital and physiological twins of healthy individuals and patients for the prevention, intervention and monitoring of inflammatory (e.g. COVID-19), metabolic (e.g. diabetes), chronic and degenerative (e.g. Alzheimer’s) or malignant disorders. This multidisciplinary research initiative in Europe is aiming for a paradigm shift to healthcare and sustainable healthcare systems.
We invite you to join forces, boost European innovation and create disruptive advances related to big data analytics, edge-to-cloud artificial intelligence, smart micro/nano-systems and sensors, organs-on-chips and nanomedicine for new personalized, preventive and participatory (P3) healthcare services and safer and more effective drugs. We aim to build the most challenging digital twin vehicles representing the complexity of human health with real-time predictive power, validate and deploy them according to end-user requirements in well-identified healthcare scenarios.
We aim to directly contribute to standards for privacy and security of healthcare data, jointly driven by technology and context and define areas where standardization is a challenge, such as organ-on-a-chip standards or nanosensor validation, therefore building a digital twin specific “technology cluster”.
We invite you to be part of the revolution in disease model development by joining your expertise, know-how and infrastructure and by leveraging data that are continuously updated by a multitude of biosensors and organ-on-a-chip models at an unprecedented scale. This body of work around digital twins will provide a roadmap for a truly sustainable approach to healthcare and a better quality of life to European citizens.
This scientific community is evolving around the DIGIPREDICT consortium: the project partners are founding members of a cluster which epitomizes the body of work around digital twins and digital health in Europe and beyond. This cluster exchanges information, shares best practices, materials and concepts and drives together the evolution of an extended community of interacting stakeholders. The ecosystem is evolving through a prudently structured roadmap of activities for public engagement, informal education and policy debate.
The partners as an integral part of the ecosystem are driving its emergence and attraction through internal interaction within the boundaries of the consortium and with outside institutions spanning through (i) FET Proactive consortia funded together with DIGIPREDICT; (ii) AI-oriented and organ-on-chip related projects from the EC FET flagship “fleet”; (iii) recent EIC projects portfolio in “artificial organs, tissues, cells and sub-cellular structures”; (iv). COST action communities and training networks on related disciplines; (v) technology platforms on nanotechnology and nanomedicine; (vi) initiatives for human organ and disease model technologies; (vii) international networks on COVID-19; (viii) universal networks active in the areas of virtual physiology and in silico medicine.
Central to the cluster will be the EPFL Center for Intelligent Systems (EPFL-CIS) that is already acting on consolidating a multi-disciplinary community in Switzerland with digital twin technology being a central priority
The DIGIPREDICT project is a complementary project to two additional EU Horizon 2020 projects, Neurotwin (Grant No. 101017716) and OPTOMICS project (EU Grant No. 101017802).
Together with these complementary projects the DIGIPREDICT project aims to increase public awareness and streamline the process of developing and ensuring the success of digital twin technologies.
Diabetes has emerged as a global pandemic affecting more than 420 million people worldwide, a number expected to further rise in the next decades. The disease has very heterogeneous outcomes and accurate patient staging or prediction of subsets of individuals likely to develop disease and/or progress to disease complications are currently unmet clinical challenges in need of urgent attention. OPTOMICS aims to research methodology that can deliver a paradigm shift in type 2 diabetes healthcare, by integrating 1) molecular phenotyping, 2) a new generation of phenotypic measurements in humans, representative of diabetes onset and progression, allowed by novel portable and non-invasive optoacoustic technology and 3) cutting-edge computational approaches leveraging progress in Artificial Intelligence. This research will develop and validate a digital twin model that catalyses a step change in shortening the path to translation, enabling applications in the entire spectrum from target identification & prevention/prognosis to patient stratification for type 2 diabetes and its complications. In addition to the research and technology goals, OPTOMICS places special attention to the ethical needs and implications of the work performed and further aims at exemplary project management, human measurements, dissemination and communication activities and updating an adept exploitation plan for the digital twin developed
Recent findings suggest that non-invasive brain stimulation may be a valuable option in conditions such as epilepsy or Alzheimer's (AD). Still, a better understanding of mechanisms and patient-specific factors is needed. Personalized hybrid brain models uniting the physics of electromagnetism with physiology – neurotwins or NeTs – are poised to play a fundamental role in understanding and optimizing the effects of stimulation at the individual level. We ambition to deliver disruptive solutions through model-driven, individualized therapy. We will build a computational framework – weaved and validated across scales and levels of detail– to represent the mechanisms of interaction of electric fields with brain networks and assimilate neuroimaging data. This will allow us to characterize the dynamical landscape of the individual brain and define strategies to restore healthy dynamics. Benefitting from existing databases of healthy and AD individuals, we will deliver the first human and rodent NeTs predicting the effects of stimulation on dynamics. We will then collect detailed multimodal measurements in mice and humans to improve the predictive power of local and whole-brain models under the effects of electrical stimulation, and translate these findings into a technology pipeline for the design of new personalized neuromodulation protocols which we will test in a cohort of AD patients and healthy controls in randomized double-blinded studies. With research at the intersecting frontier of nonlinear dynamics, network theory, biophysics, engineering, neuroscience, clinical research, and ethics, Neurotwin will deliver model-driven breakthroughs in basic and clinical neuroscience, with patients ultimately benefiting from safe, individualized therapy solutions.