As part of the consultation meeting, representatives from two of the important stakeholder groups discussed within their groups about what they thought were the most important issues going forward.
Clinicians: The focus of research was a key theme in the discussion, in particular, how computational models must be relevant, and that a highly developed model ill-suited to the clinical decision-making pipeline may not be very useful. Also, the ability to feedback long-term data on patients was seen as important for model development, and in particular to focus on disease prevention. The interaction between the clinician and the model is crucial, in particular, how the information on prediction (as well as uncertainty estimation) is conveyed to the user. It was suggested that the scope for the model in decision-making should be clearly defined, the analogy given was that of the autopilot. While models can provide valuable information throughout the decision-making pipeline, clinicians will need to make final decisions.
Industry: Sustainability strategies and business models must be clearly defined from the start of a research initiative, if it is going to attract investment to make it a reality. The standardisation of data handling and model definition will enable greater progress in model development. The industry representatives also mentioned the fact that regulations differ between countries, and even between hospitals, and that this challenge must be overcome for provide a scalable business model. It was also suggested that while Health and Wellness (i.e. preventative medicine) came up in many discussions during the meeting, this area has not traditionally been a topic pursued by industry (which focuses on disease treatment).
On 7 March 2017 our Executive Director, Prof Lies Geris, was invited to attend one day meeting at the Joint Research Centre, Ispra (IT).
Open call for Student Chairs
The VPHi student committee is looking to appoint up to two student chairs. Any PhD students with interest in in silico medicine research and willing to dedicate some energy and enthusiasm to the VPH cause are welcome to apply.
Excellent progress for the VPH project CHIC
The project successfully passed a recent review meeting with the Commission.