In its simplest form, a digital twin can be defined as a virtual model of a physical object. However, the technology is often more complicated than that. In healthcare, a digital twin could represent a population or even a human heart. The thing that differentiates a digital twin from a 3D model is that it must also act like what it represents.
“A digital twin is a model of an entity that incorporates all its components and their dynamic interactions,” says Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and director of the Alliance for Cardiovascular Diagnostic and Treatment Innovation at Johns Hopkins. “You can’t just have the geometry and rotate it. You have to show how the components interact with each other.”
Using Digital Twins to Predict Electrical Activity in the Heart
Trayanova’s research is on applying personalized digital twin approaches to clinical decision-making. She aims to improve predictive diagnostics and to predict optimal treatment plans for patients.
Cleveland Clinic Aims to Improve Health Equity Using Digital Twins
Cleveland Clinic is planning to use digital twins in an entirely different way. The organization is creating digital twins to better understand how patients’ neighborhoods influence their health.
The Future of Digital Twin Technology in Healthcare
At Johns Hopkins, it takes three to four days for Trayanova’s team to create a digital twin of a patient’s heart. She is hoping to speed that process and make it more portable and scalable, which will require innovative engineering. The team is also in the process of improving the program’s visualization capabilities.
Source: Healthtech Magazine