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Consortium Unveils Guidelines for Using Digital Twin Technology

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   June 10, 2022

The Digital Twin Consortium has created a framework for the use of digital twin technology, which is just now being adopted in healthcare to help providers improve care management.

The Digital Twin Consortium has unveiled a document designed to help healthcare organizations using the innovative digital health platform to improve clinical care.

Reality Capture: A Digital Twin Foundation lays out the groundwork for using the technology, which essentially uses sensors and AI to create a digital twin of an object, room, building or landscape, for use in planning and design. In healthcare, the strategy focuses on developing a digital twin of a patient, which can then be used to test the effectiveness of treatments before they're tried on the patient.

“Reality capture technologies play an important role in providing context and, depending on the scenario, delivering real, on-time decision support for situational awareness," Dan Isaacs, chief technical officer of the Boston-based organization, said in a press release. "This in turn enriches digital twin predictive accuracy and outcomes. Situational awareness serves to augment event intelligence for timely, high confidence, data driven, and evidence-based decision making."

While other industries have used digital twin technology for close to two decades, only recently has it been adapted to healthcare.

This past February, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine announced a partnership with Amazon Web Services and the Open Health Network to create the MLBox, which would use digital health tools, including wearables and smart devices, to collect biological, clinical, behavioral, and environment data on a patient to create a digital twin. The project is supported by the National Institutes of Health.

“We want to demonstrate that this kind of individualized data capture can spur a new line of research and personalization in healthcare,” Azizi Seixas, PhD, founding director of TheMI, an associate director for the Translational Sleep and Circadian Sciences Program at the Miller School of Medicine, and one of the nation’s leading experts on sleep health, said in a press release. “With the capacity to discover everything we can about the individual, we can change the relationship between people and their health.”

“Eventually, such digital twins could comprise sufficient detail about an individual so that a computer could test different treatment or wellness options against that model to predict which are most likely to produce the best outcomes for that person,” officials said in a press release. “Instead of prescribing treatments based on a statistical model of outcomes across a large population, this new approach would provide each patient with a personalized recommendation calculated to produce the best outcome for them.”

With its new document, the Digital Twin Consortium aims to lay the foundation for guidelines and standards of digital twin technology.

“For digital twins to play a growing role in the industry for simulations, remote control or metaverse experiences, they must accurately reflect built reality,” Dominique Pouliquen, CEO of Cintoo, which has been using the technology in construction projects, said in the press release. “Various technologies are available to capture these conditions, ranging from passive cameras to active laser scanners, but navigating the reality-capture landscape is not easy. There isn’t a single scanning device that meets the criteria for all possible use cases and workflows. Today’s white paper provides information organizations can use to make the right investment decisions.”

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.

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