How digital twins could transform healthcare — from by Rich McEachran
Digital twins could have life-changing effects, impacting everything from clinical trials to bed management. However, there are challenges ahead for the virtual technology.


Digital twins are well known in engineering and manufacturing. However, scientists are now deploying the technology in the medical realm, modelling the effectiveness of existing drugs against new diseases.

Scientists and medical researchers often seek to treat patients by examining the efficacy of existing drugs. That’s what happened when Covid-19 first arrived. Global analytics company Elsevier and ExactCure, a startup providing software solutions to reduce the impact of inaccurate medication, came together in April 2020 to build a digital twin that could model patient reactions to 20 approved drugs.

But what is a digital twin? In essence, they’re virtual representations and simulations of a physical asset or entity. For example, pharmaceutical giant GSK has piloted a replica of its vaccine production process to improve operations and future vaccine development.