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Digital Twin Technology – Top Use Cases in Smart Healthcare

  • Nikita Godse 

A digital twin in healthcare is a virtual representation of human physiology, hospital results, lab environment, etc. It is revolutionizing hospital management and clinical healthcare by enabling researchers to study various diseases, medical devices, and drugs. Digital twin can be used to study the genome of a person, its physiological characteristics, and the overall lifestyle. It also helps in the development of low-cost and safe drugs and devices in the healthcare sector.

  • Digital twin can be used to create the virtual twin of a hospital to review its operational strategies, capacities, staffing, etc. Additionally, it can predict the future strategies of an organization. In hospitals, it can be used for the following purposes:
    • Risk Management – Digital twin helps to provide a safe environment in order to modify the system performance. This will enable the implementation of data-driven decisions in a complex and sensitive environment.
    • Resource Optimization – Digital twin helps hospitals to leverage real-time and historical data. It can also aid in the optimization of resources such as staff scheduling, shortage of beds, operating room issues, etc.
  • Digital twin can be used for modeling organs, genetic makeup, lifestyle habits, and physiological characteristics
    • Treatment Planning- Using digital twin, medical experts can discover the pathology or potential treatment for diseases before they are evident. The technology can also help improve surgical preparations.
    • Personalized Diagnosis- With the help of digital twin, one can track data of an individual for persistent conditions, interactions with doctors, etc. Such information can serve as the base for clinical trials.
  • Digital twin for development of devices and drugs:
    • Devices – Digital twin can help developers to make a prior test or any necessary alterations in devices or materials used to develop them. This helps to overcome cost failures and thus boosts the performance of devices.
    • Drugs- Digital twin can help pharmaceutical experts to design a drug or have any modifications in the drug before its discovery

Key Drivers and Opportunities in Digital Twin in Healthcare Industry

Around 60% to 65% of healthcare executives invest in the digital twin in healthcare Industry This can be ascribed to the ability of digital twins to replicate staffing systems, capacity planning, workflows, and care delivery models. Thus, increase in investment in digital twins is driving the market.

Emerging technologies in digital twins can help improve clinical outcomes, optimize resource allocations, and lower operation costs

The market is witnessing increase in adoption of digital twins. In January 2022, Dassault Systemes showcased 3D virtual simulations in human heart implants at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Issues related to quality and data privacy are expected to limit the growth of the digital twin in healthcare Industry

Europe to Dominate Digital Twin in Healthcare

  • Rise in awareness about technologically advanced products is boosting the demand for digital twin in healthcare market in developed as well as emerging markets
  • In Europe, the EDITH project has led an inclusive ecosystem for digital twins in healthcare, which is expected to accelerate the convergence of such ecosystem toward a common strategy conducive to its further development
  • Europe is witnessing significant advancements in digital twins. Siemens Healthineers has created a digital twin model representation for the radiology department at Mater Private Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in Ireland.