European Virtual Human Twin
Virtual Human Twin (VHT) is an integrated multiscale, multi-time, and multi-discipline representation of quantitative human physiology and pathology. Its realisation through a collaborative distributed knowledge and resource platform is specifically designed to accelerate the development, integration, and adoption of patient-specific predictive computer models, which will be used as clinical decision support systems, for personal health forecasting or as methodologies for the development and de-risking of personalised medical products. The vision of EDITH is to facilitate the realisation of the opportunities presented by VHTs for the benefit of patients, healthcare providers, regulatory bodies and industry, both within Europe and globally.
EDITH is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA), funded by the European Commission, which will capitalise on the developments of digital technologies, high performance computing, availability and access to research and healthcare data in Europe, with the mission of defining a roadmap to go from separated single organ systems, to data-driven and knowledge-driven fully integrated multiscale and multiorgan whole-body twin. EDITH will facilitate this process by building an evolutionary ecosystem, driven by a consensus among the relevant European communities, and implemented through the aid of practical tools, such as a data/model repository (within the scope of EDITH), and a simulation platform (to be implemented after EDITH).
A Virtual Human Twin (VHT) is a patient-specific virtual representation of real-world systems or processes, that is built on data-driven or knowledge-driven - most often a combination of both - predictive computer models, and that can be used as a clinical decision-support system, a personal health forecasting tool or as a tool for the development and personalisation of medical products. The focus of EDITH is to propose how a fully integrated VHT can be developed, starting from single organ digital twins.
EDITH has the objective to frame an inclusive ecosystem of digital twins in healthcare within the EU Member States and associated countries. It will start with a comprehensive mapping of the existing relevant actors, initiatives, resources (i.e., models, data sets, methods, good practices, infrastructures, solutions, services), and barriers in the digital twins. This will ensure adequate clinical representation, while fostering collaboration and integration of all relevant stakeholders, such as solution developers, technology providers, infrastructure providers, end-users (healthcare professionals and patients), regulatory agencies, and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) bodies.
EDITH has the objective to build a roadmap with all the necessary conditions to evolve towards an integrated Virtual Human Twin (VHT). The roadmap will identify the necessary building blocks to ensure the VHT’s clinical application and formulate clear short- and mid-term policy recommendations. It will also address aspects of interoperability, computability, health information integration from various sources. It will identify any possible implementation needs and barriers, including the development of a strategic approach for clinical deployment of the VHT model. This will foster the uptake of personalised clinical decision-making, with a particular focus on areas of unmet medical needs.
EDITH has the objective to develop a federated and cloud-based repository of digital twins (data, models, algorithms, and good practices) in healthcare. The repository will provide a virtual collaboration environment for multiple users and organisations, that will pool together existing digital twin resources across Europe. The ecosystem will be leveraged to create a repository catalogue with available resources and recruit resources into the repository from the consortium and external contributors. Through a federated approach, links will be established with ongoing initiatives that have complementary objectives.
EDITH has the objective to develop the architecture of a simulation platform that will support the transition towards an integrated Virtual Human Twin (VHT). EDITH’s platform, based on a personal user account with specific permissions, will outline how to provide users with a one-stop shop to design, develop, test, and validate single organ digital twins, and combine them with other twins to build integrated VHT models. Five use-cases (cancer, cardiovascular, intensive care, osteoporosis, brain) have been pre-selected to be developed as prototypes, representing the variety of functionalities to be provided by the platform.