On 15 February 2018, Professor Marco Viceconti, Executive Director of Insigneo and VPHi President, gave a talk on ‘How in silico medicine is transforming healthcare’ at the University of Melbourne’s Graeme Clark Institute for Biomedical Engineering.
The concept of a Virtual Physiological Human, a computer model that can predict specific functioning of an individual’s body, was first proposed in 2005, although pre-existing research can be traced back to the late 1990s. It has been roughly 20 years of technological development that creates computer models that can predict quantities that are clinically relevant, but not easily measured.
In early developments the predominant application for these technologies was the “Digital Patient”, where patient-specific prediction would support medical decision-making.
The recommendations of US Congress and the European Parliament between 2015 and 2016 have opened a new scenario, where subject-specific models can be used to evaluate the safety and the efficacy of new drugs and medical devices; i.e. “In silico clinical trials”. A third application is now emerging, “personal health forecasting”, where the model is used to transform data from ambient, wearable or implanted sensors, into predictions where patients can self-manage their chronic condition.
Professor Marco Viceconti's full presentation on the topic can now be watch on Youtube.