University of Sheffield : Virtual physiological human project transcends sci- fi and transform healthcare
An institute founded one year ago at the University of Sheffield, is showcasing on Thursday, the first phase of technology that will lead to the creation of a virtual human body and revolutionise global healthcare.
The Insigneo Institute at the University of Sheffield has the objective of creating an in silico (computer simulated) replica of the human body that will enable the virtual testing of bespoke treatments. When complete, the Virtual Physiological Human will transform the economics and practicalities of modern medical treatment and medical research. The Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) programme is backed by European Commission funding.
Since 2007, approaching a‚¬220 million Euros of European Commission funding has been targeted at collaborative in silico projects across Europe.
The VPH will enable collaborative investigation of the human body as a single complex system using integrated computer models of the mechanical, physical and biochemical functions of a living human body.
The VPH will eventually lead to a better healthcare system, offering personalised care solutions, a more holistic approach to medicine and a preventative approach to treatment of disease. In time it will lead to treatment that sees the body as a single multi organ system rather than as a collection of individual organs.
Observations made in laboratories, hospitals and the field anywhere in the world will be collected, catalogued, organised, shared and combined within the VPH. Experts will be able to analyse these observations collaboratively and develop systemic hypotheses, leveraging knowledge across multiple scientific disciplines.
The showcase today will feature a series of talks and demonstrations that chart progress to date, including:
A presentation on imaging and computational modelling of pulmonary disease; a look at the emerging potential of the 21st century laboratory; a presentation on VIRTU heart, which will transform the assessment and management of coronary artery disease; a presentation on how the VPH will improve the prediction of fracture risk; and, a presentation on virtual, physiological and computational neuromuscular models for the predictive treatment of Parkinson's Disease.
"What we're working on here will be vital to the future of healthcare", said Dr Keith McCormack, who leads business development at the Institute.
"Pressures are mounting on health and treatment resources worldwide. Candidly, without in silico medicine, organisations like the NHS will be unable to cope with demand. The Virtual Physiological Human will act as a software-based laboratory for experimentation and treatment that will save huge amounts of time and money and lead to vastly superior treatment outcomes," Dr Keith further added.
(Posted on 08-05-2014)