Round table on "Good Simulation Practices : bringing the digital twin to life”

The VPH2020 Round table took place on the 27th of September 2020 co-organised by VPHi and EIT Health France and shared views of different stakeholders from academia and industry to regulators and policy makers on what is needed to bring the digital twin to life.

The use of computer modeling and simulation (CM&S) in all aspects of life sciences has made substantial progress over the last couple of years. Examples of in silico medicine approaches that have made their way to the patient range from advanced diagnostic tools over clinical decision support systems to implication of CM&S in every step of the R&D process of pharmaceutical and medical device therapies. Many activities are currently ongoing to ensure that the road from the computer to the patient is clear for all stakeholders, from academia and industry to regulators and policy makers. In the traditional VPH conference round table, co-organised by the conference’s partner EIT Health France, many of these stakeholders were represented.  All speakers presented their take on what is needed to bring the digital twin to life, discussing ongoing actions and activities that will contribute to this goal, needs to continue and the required partners.

Professionally moderated by Dr. Hetty Helsmoortel, 7 speakers were given 7 minutes each to elaborate their point of view.

  • Antoine Bril is scientific director public affairs at Servier, overseeing the public-private partnerships for the Servier Group. He discussed computer modelling and simulation in pharmaceutical drug discovery.
  • Nicolas Villain was until 2018 the Head of Philips Research in France and is now leading the “Hub AI Paris”, which focuses on artificial intelligence in medical imaging. Hel explained the need for a public-private partnership to bring the digital twin to life.
  • Jean -Marc Bourez is the managing director EIT Health France (EIT = European Institute of Innovation and Technology). He showed what EIT is concretely doing to promote the deployment and growth of twin organs or digital organs from a funding perspective.
  • Brent Craven is a research scientist at the US Food and Drug Administration. He discussed examples of interesting uses of modeling and simulation, and then focused on the regulatory framework and remaining challenges in this emerging field.
  • Flora Musuamba Tshinanu is the vice chair of the modeling and simulation working party at the European Medicines Agency. She gave the audience plenty of food for thought about barriers, about unknowns and about the unmet need for regulatory driven research in Europe.  
  • Christina Kyriakopoulou is project officer at DG RTD of the European Commission (EC) and manages the portfolio of in silico medicine related projects. She spoke about support from the EC for in silico medicine and digital twins and the co-creation of new calls in the upcoming framework program.
  • Liesbet Geris is professor in Computational Tissue Engineering at the university of Liège and KU Leuven in Belgium and the current executive director of the VPH institute. She addressed some outspoken statements about the involvement of academia in the development of in silico medicine and ended with a call to action for all academics to engage in the further development of the field by venturing beyond the strict academic field into regulatory and translational activities.

After the presentations, during the debate, the speakers discussed topics such as the impact of COVID on in silico medicine, the community aspects, access to data and computational infrastructure as well as the worst case scenario and best case scenario for the field.

The video capture of the round table is publicly available on the VPHi facebook page and via this link:

Date: 15/09/2020 | Tag: | News: 1121 of 1597
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