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Digital twins set to advance stroke care

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Researchers in the Netherlands are adopting an innovative new approach aimed at revolutionising how stroke patients are treated.

The team at Amsterdam UMC has received a 10 million euro Horizon grant from the EU to apply digital twin technology alongside a consortium of 19 partners.

The researchers will simulate treatments for conditions such as cerebral infarction or cerebral haemorrhage on a digital twin to help doctors learn what works best for each patient.

Henk Marquering, Professor of Translational Artificial Intelligence at Amsterdam UMC, said: “With this project, we want to first test the treatment for individual stroke patients on a digital twin.

“The doctors can see in the simulation which treatment works and which doesn’t.”

To generate the twins, the researchers will enter stroke patients’ blood pressure, heart rhythm, brain scan and other medical.

The simulations will enable doctors to predict outcomes from standard stroke treatments such as the removal of blood clots.

Alongside the EU funding, the project has received 3 million euros from partners in Switzerland and Taiwan which will leverage computer simulation and medicine expertise from 12 countries.

Unlike data-driven AI which relies solely on vast data sets, this new approach will combine computer data with clinical expertise.

Professor of Computational Science at the University of Amsterdam, Alfons Hoekstra, said: “We combine the computer data with the physical and biological knowledge we have.

“Computer scientists and doctors work together to make this possible.”

The researchers anticipate that it will take four years to develop the technology for creating the digital twins and a further two years to refine it for clinical use.

Marquering added: “A treatment that has first been virtually tested on your digital twin? Now that’s tailor-made care.”

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