The DISCIPULUS support action was funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) in order to define a concrete strategy for the realisation and wide scale adoption of results emerging from the Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) Initiative.
The project ended in May 2013, successfully delivering the Digital Patient roadmap.
Its vision is to identify key steps towards realising the Digital Patient, which is a new paradigm in personalised medicine, across the whole healthcare sys-tem by focusing on the needs of clinical practitioners and healthcare professionals, biomedical and clinical researchers.
This vision will be achieved through comprehensive solutions that involve advanced modelling and simulation tools, data acquisition and data management and advanced user interfaces. All this will enable the clinical and industrial translation of the Digital Patient.
The Digital Patient is an envisaged super-sophisticated computer program that will be capable of generating a virtual living version of yourself. When this is achieved, it will be possible to run 'simulations' of health and disease processes on the virtual or 'digital' you, and use the results to make predictions about your real health. It will also be possible to determine the best treatment specifically for you. This is termed 'personalised medicine', and is intended to be the future of healthcare.
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ROADMAP DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
The project was developed around two consultation meetings both held by UPF in Barcelona on March 29th and 27th November 2012.
Experts from Europe and beyond have come together, discussed and exchanged ideas of what was needed in the scientific and technological areas to make the Digital Patient a reality. During and after the meeting a number of key leaders emerged from the community who were willing to assist in the production of the scientific content of the Roadmap. As each chapter was completed, they were added to the draft roadmap and posted on Biomed Town to enable interested parties to make further contributions if they so wished. In addition, a discussion forum was created on the DISCIPULUS pages on Biomed Town and its presence was made public by widespread dissemination.
Participation in the debates was open to all. Some of the original experts encouraged colleagues and contacts with relevant expertise in key areas to join the discussions, which proved very fruitful.
By the end of the process, more than 200 scientists have endorsed this Roadmap by direct participation in the debates and/or the writing of the individual chapters. We take the opportunity to thank them all for their precious collaboration!
THE ROADMAP CONTENT
The complex territory of biomedical and technological research was charted in four different dimensions:
Technological challenges. By definition, the Digital Patient is a multi-disciplinary, multi-technological initiative. In order to have a clearer picture, the Digital Patient which was decomposed into its component parts: from the initial inputs in terms of data and information to the ultimate goal, translation and adoption.
Maturity levels. Short, medium, and long-term goals were target so as to ensure a progressive impact.
Exemplary clinical challenges. Concrete clinical problems were analyzed so to ensure a proper clinical rooting. In particular input in the following clinical sectors were analyzed: neurology, orthopaedics, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases, respiratory diseases, oncology, internal medicine, immunity and infectious diseases, geriatrics and paediatrics
Use cases. "What is the Digital for?" Many concrete examples of 'use cases' were identified and clustered in these main categories: decision; explanation and presentation; execution; translation.
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