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VIRTUAL HUMAN FOR DIGITAL DOC

Whole-body simulation lets the computer prescribe the best treatment

A UK team has announced it has completed building a fully computer-simulated human physiology for personalised healthcare. The Insigneo Institute at the University of Sheffield managed to engineer a simulation of the human body so true to life, that it can be used to test and optimize medical therapy.

The Virtual Physiological Human dubbed “SimPhy” acts as a software defined virtual patient on which doctors and researchers can experiment with impunity. By entering the parameters of your medical history, SimPhy can be aligned to your current medical condition; various therapies can quickly be simulated, and the best result identified.

“Without the SimPhy we wouldn’t be able to cope with demand,” says Britain’s National Health Service chief. “It speeds up the whole process of diagnosis and prescribing the best treatment, like a digital doctor.”

Soon there will be a smartphone app that accesses SimPhy online and tracks your personal medical history at the same time, creating a daily personalised health plan for all subscribers. The expert system will be able to tell you, even before you become ill, how to manage your health and prevent serious disease.

The NHS expects savings in healthcare costs to eclipse the development cost of the virtual patient many hundreds of times over. However, early users are a little disillusioned. The most common therapy prescribed by SimPhy is: “Eat less and exercise more!”

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