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Keynote speaker - Building the Virtual Human Twin: from an engaged ecosystem to an incipient infrastructure

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FHTW02 - Fickle Heart: The intersection of UQ, AI and Digital Twins

Following the definition of the European Commission, a Virtual -Human Twin (VHT) is a digital representation of a human health or disease state. VHTs refer to different levels of human anatomy (e.g. cells, tissues, organs or organ systems). They are built using software models and data and are designed to mimic and predict behaviour of their physical counterparts, including interaction with additional diseases a person may have. The key potential in health and care of this technology is related to targeted prevention, tailored clinical pathways, and to supporting healthcare professionals in virtual environments. Examples include implementation of clinical trials for medicines and devices, medical training, surgical intervention planning, and several other potential use cases in virtual world environments. A public VHT infrastructure is the subject of an open tender. This infrastructure should enable the pooling of resources and assets (data, models, algorithms, computing power, storage etc.) to develop these twins in healthcare and assess their credibility. Hence, it should entail the development of a federated public infrastructure and the collection of said resources, driven by the engagement of a collaborative ecosystem. In order to realise the potential of the VHT , a shared vision and inclusive eco-system driven roadmap is being developed, supported through the EDITH Coordination and Support Action. The roadmap contains a blueprint of the Virtual Human Twin and  will identify the required (technical) developments, including but not limited to interoperability,  computability, hardware and integration of health models & data. Ethical, Legal and Social elements are discussed, including privacy, intellectual property rights, standards, regulations, ethics and social acceptance. The user perspective is developed for a range of stakeholders, whose needs and value propositions have been identified through a range of activities and interactions. Finally, sustainability of the ecosystem and infrastructure are examined, looking at incorporation in clinical and industrial workflow, development of economic activities, a member-state strategy and the creation of a public research infrastructure organisation.  After  going through extensive review by the ecosystem, the first draft of the roadmap  has been released ( and is open for additions and comments ( Current activities focus on the drafting of clear recommendations and outlining a strategic plan for the further development of the VHT , to be discussed with the entire ecosystem during the upcoming meeting in Amsterdam (     

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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