20 February 2024


The First ecosystem meeting on building the VHT, a productive two-day event, took place at the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, France on January 18-19. Over 175 people registered for the meeting, representing all aspects of the ecosystem: academia, industry, research institutes, hospitals, HPC centres, HTA agencies, legal offices, ethics societies, as well as social sciences, civil and patient organisations.

The participants were welcomed by the host of the event, Irene Vignon-Clementel, Marie-Hélène Pautrat, Abdul Barakat (INRIA), and Jean Colombel (3DS). Liesbet Geris, Professor in Biomechanics and Computational Tissue Engineering at the University of Liège and KU Leuven, the EDITH project coordinator and the VPH Institute executive director, introduced the meeting organisation: several plenary session, along with fourteen parallel breakout sessions focussed on EDITH key themes.

The parallel sessions throughout both days fuelled the discussion around key aspects for the realization of the Virtual Human Twin: resource integration, ethics, data generation, business models, platform processes and services, usability, standards for digital twins, clinical engagement, infrastructures and networks, contribution to the VHT resources via new use-cases, AI, incentivization, ecosystem economic preconditions, and social trust. All sessions were led by high-calibre speakers from the EDITH consortium and partners, including Amaryllis Raouzaiou (ATHENA RC), Adrian Ionescu, (EPFL), Martin Golebiewski and Gerhard Mayer (HITS), Irene Vignon-Clementel, Roel Meiburg, and Anna Niarakis(INRIA), Ine Van Hoyweghen, Elisabetta Biasin, Elisa Lievevrouw, Elisa Leila Elhadj (KU Leuven), Edwin Morley-Fletcher (Lynkeus), Enzo Fabiani (PI SCHOOL), Caroline Roney, Elisa Rauseo, and Laura Bevis (QMUL), Sabato Mellone(UNIBO), Alfons Hoekstra (UvA), Gökhan Ertaylan, Elfi Goesaert and Frederic Jung (VITO), and Zita Van Horenbeeck(VPHi).

In his plenary address, the European Commission representative, Kyriacos Hatzaras (DG-CNECT), called upon all participants to brainstorm and participate in setting short- and medium-term goals for the fulfilment of EDITH’s objectives, to align the vision of the entire ecosystem and its stakeholders to realise the Virtual Human Twin.

The second day of work started with a presentation on The Clinical Perspective on Virtual Human Twins by Eric Vibert (AP-HP) and ended with plenary presentations of the existing platforms and large scale initiatives such as BBMRI-ERIC (Konrad Lang, BBMRI-ERIC), EBRAINS (Victor Jirsa, Inserm) and the 12 Labours project (Thiranja Prasad Babarenda Gamage, ABI). Finally, the valuable insights from the breakout session reports provided additional inspiration for tackling some of the identified challenges.

Over the last couple of months, the ecosystem has demonstrated a very strong interest and commitment to deploy and realise the Virtual Human Twin for health and care. At the Paris meeting, we had a solid representation of all stakeholders in the ecosystem and hence were able to address a wide range of topics from many angles. These inputs will further ensure the VHT roadmap to be representing the interests of the entire ecosystem.” Concluded Liesbet Geris.