A digital twin is a virtual representation of a product or system. For the healthcare sector, the digital twin is an important tool because it uses all possible data already collected or available in a specific clinical process and combines it with a specific patient's data. This makes it possible to detect conditions more quickly and easily and propose more effective therapies.

The Virtual Physiological Human Institute (VPH) is leading a European coordination and support project to build an ecosystem for digital twins in healthcare. EDITH (Ecosystem for Digital Twins in Healthcare) aims to promote an inclusive ecosystem for digital twins in healthcare in Europe and establish a strategic roadmap for its wider development, integration and deployment.

A digital twin is a patient-specific virtual representation of real systems or processes (ranging from organs to the whole body), built from a combination of data- and knowledge-driven predictive computer models, that can be used as a support system for clinical decisions or as a tool for the development and personalisation of medical products.

This project has many European partners and is co-funded by the European Commission under the Digital Europe Program. VITO has a dual role in the EDITH consortium. Our primary role is to develop, evaluate and align the data access strategy for creating virtual twins from personal health data from different sources such as e-health, hospital records and/or real world data (RWD). This is done in collaboration with the Data Science Hub, aligned with the We Are project methodology. Secondarily, we are contributing to the working group mapping the virtual twin ecosystem in Europe and developing a sustainability model for virtual twins in healthcare and clinical practice.

EDITH will develop, combine and further strengthen synergies between European communities. This should result in a coherent ecosystem and consensus-based roadmap towards virtual human twins. It will also use EU infrastructure to develop a repository of digital twins and a simulation platform. Patients, healthcare providers, regulators and industry will all be able to use it.

The Coordination and Support Action (CSA) of EDITH is led by the Virtual Physiological Human Institute (VPH Institute). Partners are VPH Institute (BE), Lynkeus (IT), the Athena Research and Innovation Centre (GR), the AGH University of Science and Technology (PL), the University of Amsterdam (NL), the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO, BE), the University of Bologna (IT), DIGITALEUROPE (BE), the Forschungszentrum Jülich (DE), the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS, DE), Pi School (IT), the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA, FR), the University of Liege (BE), Empirica (DE), the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (ES), the University Hospital of Aachen (DE), the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH, GR), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL, CH), and the Queen Mary University of London (UK).

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