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Using AI to create the Digital Twin of … You

The digital twin model of a human body. Ordinary differential equations, graph neural networks, and generative adversarial networksare used synergically to model patient’s conditions. Image credit: Pietro Barbiero et al, University of Cambridge, UK

Researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, have used AI to create Digital Twins of people’s body, the digital twin of your body. The goal is to help monitoring your wellbeing and detect the insurgence of sickness before you perceive any symptoms. Having the possibility to become aware that something is wrong at a very early stage can make a huge difference on the outcome, be it a Covid-19 infection or a cancer.

You can find the detailed explanation of their approach and the first evaluation of results in their paper “Graph representation forecasting of Patient’s medical conditions: Towards a Digital Twin“.

There have been, and there are, several applications of digital twin technology in the healthcare domain, including using digital twins to model a human body for simulation (as an example in pharma to speed up drugs development), for monitoring … and of course AI is being used in the analyses of data but to my knowledge this is the first time that AI is used to create a human body digital twin.

The stated objective of their research is to foster preventative medicine providing personalised treatment plans to patients. To do that they apply a number of AI technologies, including GNN – Graph Neural Network- and GAN – Generative Adversarial Network- feeding a mathematical model, embedded in the Digital Twin, of current and future pathophysiological conditions.

The Digital Twin model has been tested on simulated clinical case studies with data at organ, tissue and cellular level. AI was used to asses current conditions based on the available data and to forecast probable evolution.

This research has not reached a clinical trial stage but represents a proof of concept in the use of Digital Twins automatically generated using AI.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.

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