3. Personalised Healthcare / Digital Twins
At the same time as we progress in the human genome understanding and learn to use it for personal healthcare we are seeing companies like GE and Philips (watch the clip) that are investing in the creation of person’s digital twins as a way to support personalised medicine.
Notice that digital twins are already used to model processes, equipment and even hospitals but here we are looking at their use in the context of patients (more generally of people in a proactive medicine perspective).
Digital Twins in personal healthcare are seen by classic healthcare industry (GE, Philips, Siemens, Nokia,…) as a way to capitalise on data that are accrued through their equipment fostering improved quality in healthcare and decreasing cost. They are also seen, although you get this by reading between the lines or speaking with some of their strategists –off the record- as a way to defend themselves from the attack that is, will be, coming from companies that thrive on data and that see Digital Twins as a way to capitalise their data and enter into the healthcare space. Google and Apple are at the forefront of these new breed of companies, with other already mentioned, like 23andMe, also trying to capitalise on their data availability.
It is most likely that for the first part of the coming decade there will not be a clear winner (in the fight between the “incumbents” and the “data companies”) but that the players will cause an acceleration of the adoption of digital twins.
An important aspect is the expected evolution of Digital Twins to stage 4, a point where a Digital Twin may act as an autonomous system and start to roam the cyberspace leveraging both data and services to provide customised health guide to its physical twin. We are not that far from this, a few signs are already visible (the Apple Watch 5 is a step along this path although on a very tiny segment in healthcare). By the middle of the next decade the consensus of the team working on this White Paper is that Digital Twins in health care will become autonomous systems supporting advanced personalised cure.