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MWC 2024: they create a ‘virtual twin’ heart to experiment and predict pathologies

He Mobile World Congress (MWC)) takes us at times to a science fiction movie, but the technology it presents is already a reality, such as the digital twin prototype that generates a replica of our heart to test treatments or even accelerate the passage of time and predict what pathologies we could suffer in the future.

Behind this model is the supercomputing power of the Barcelona (northeast) Supercomputing Center (BSC), which on this occasion uses its high mathematical capabilities to facilitate virtual models of the human body and bring closer that personalization of medicine for which experts point out that the future of health sciences will travel.

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This ‘replicating heart’ presented this Tuesday at the MWCapital stand, with the collaboration of the BSC ELEM Biotech ‘spin off’, consists of the recreation of a laboratory in which basic data is captured and the pulse of each visitor is taken. through an electronic device that, like a fictitious scanner, generates a heart according to the profile of each user.

Next, the simulator reproduces a 3D recreation of the heart that, little by little, begins to beat with the same pulses as the visitor, an instrument that immediately aroused the interest of congressmen, although in reality it is only a simplified version of the creation of a ‘digital twin’ of this body that is currently being developed and commercialized by ELEM Biotech, based on the Alya Red technology developed with the BSC.

“This is not the future, it is already a reality. It is already present,” explained Mariano Vázquez, co-founder of ELEM Biotech, about the prototype with which he hopes the detection and treatment of heart diseases will be improved.

The research is possible thanks to a series of heart data. (Photo: EFE)

In addition to being able to predict what can happen to our heart. “Thanks to data and supercomputing we can age it ten, twenty years, and see if we are prone to any heart disease and what we can do sooner to improve that horizon,” he indicated.

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The director of the BSC Life Sciences Department, Alfonso Valencia, highlighted that generating ‘virtual humans’ through the combination of simulations and artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the applications with the greatest potential that supercomputing offers in the field of health.

In that sense, he recalled that the most modern supercomputers are capable of managing enormous amounts of data on genetics, medical images, health records and the social environment of thousands of people.

From these data, patterns can be extracted that allow progress in research on the molecular and physiological bases of diseases, adaptation to drugs and the application of new technologies, he noted.

In the presentation to the press, also the group leader at the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia, Núria Montserrat, stressed that thanks to supercomputing they are also capable of recreating, this time physically, mini-organs or “organoids” such as small kidneys of less than a centimeter that are also candidate replicants to test drugs and test treatments.

The researchers were in favor of promoting new regulation for the use of these technologies applied to health that includes elements such as the storage of health data for use in research.

In relation to this, they highlighted the importance of data donors, since to create the computational models behind the ‘digital twins’ quality data is needed, always guaranteeing its security and anonymity.

For this reason, they are committed to generating trust in citizens about the use of their data, including the possibility of monitoring and controlling the use of personal data and the figure of ‘data donors’, along with the creation of safe environments for research. , which are the guidelines for developing digital twins in Medicine.

Source: Elcomercio

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