By Vivek Kanade
The use of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare has been leading the world toward transformation. The technology integration has not only improved the quality of life for the patients but has also proven beneficial for healthcare practitioners in delivering quality outcomes.
Patient twinning, powered by such Artificial Intelligence technologies is a new-age concept enhancing patient experience and expanding precision medicine.
A digital “you” is so accurately mapped to your physical self that it could be used to personalize your healthcare, to predict and even prevent disease. It’s called a Digital Twin.
Say, for instance, Rivaan is 48 and feels normal. There’s a history of cardiovascular in his family, however, so far, he hasn’t been through any heart ailments. During his last visit to his doctor, he was diagnosed with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, both leading him toward the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Rivaan’s lifestyle and his unhealthy eating habits could further deteriorate his condition in the coming days.
In view of his medical history, Rivaan’s doctor advises him to keep a constant check on his health. Taking this advice, he decides to record all his vitals on a health app.
From now on, the patient twin, which brings together all of Rivaan’s relevant digital health data, will interact with learning software or artificial intelligence (AI) to take care of Rivaan and his heart. The patient twin evaluates and stores important cardiovascular information, like blood pressure, in real-time and combines it with other relevant data such as laboratory data or data from medical imaging. Artificial intelligence compares Rivaan’s data continuously with the health data of a suitable comparison group of other people.
In this way, the digital patient model can create, visualize and test simulations of Rivaan’s future state of health and possible next diagnostic steps and therapies. Then gives recommendations to Rivaan and the team of medical practitioners looking after him: How can Rivaan keep himself healthy? What medical steps could or should be initiated next? The patient twin simulates future scenarios to enable preventive measures to be taken before Rivaan’s condition takes a turn for the worse. The AI gives Rivaan and his physician suggestions for targeted diagnostic prevention or follow-up examinations such as laboratory tests or other. The medical practitioners study the suggestions by digital twin and initiate appropriate treatments.
Rivaan’s smartphone and his wearables continuously provide his patient twin with medical and lifestyle data to monitor his condition, including blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, ECG, and data regarding his current physical strain.
The optimal use of Rivaan’s health data will help his doctors closely monitor his progress and response to medications.
In times when customization is the key, technologies like patient twinning will take us a step closer to developing a personal healthcare module for patients and have a more targeted approach to providing treatments. This progressive method of delivering healthcare will aid quality and timely treatment to the patient, thereby improving his continuum of care.
Patient twins are still a future vision, but significant progress has been already made in this field. With cutting-edge imaging devices that automatically identify patients and their individual needs and adapt themselves accordingly, the foundation is being laid for digital twin technology.
(The author is a Managing Director, Siemens Healthcare Pvt Ltd. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)