Life Sciences & HealthcareApril 5, 2024

Introducing the MEDITWIN project

In honor of World Health Day 2024, learn about an initiative using virtual twins to transform medical practice and help millions.
Avatar Patrick Ball

Over the next five years, Dassault Systèmes will be at the forefront of the MEDITWIN initiative, an ambitious project that brings together 14 world-class partners and financial support from the French government, to develop virtual twins for medical practice and make healthcare safer and more accessible for all.

Initially announced last year in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, the MEDITWIN consortium is made up of seven university hospital institutes, several startups, Dassault Systemes and INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology.

The MEDITWIN project will lead to seven virtual healthcare products – resulting from virtual twins in neurology, cardiology and oncology – that will be deployed on a sovereign industrial cloud platform. Using MEDITWIN, doctors will be able to simulate future scenarios for individual patients.

“Virtual twins have successfully enabled the industrial world to transform itself more sustainably,” Dassault Systèmes Executive Chairman Bernard Charlès said in a press release announcing the MEDITWIN launch. “Today, this technology is opening up new possibilities for healthcare by revealing the secrets of the human body – by understanding and representing the invisible. For 40 years, Dassault Systèmes has been a pioneer in virtual twins, and we can apply our knowledge and know-how to transform medical practice, making high-quality care accessible to everyone.”

Virtual twins advancing healthcare

Virtual twins are already a transformative force in the healthcare industry.

A decade ago, Dassault Systèmes’ own Steve Levine founded the Living Heart Project, believing that the same 3D modeling and simulation used by Dassault Systèmes for years in the automotive and aerospace industries could be applied in the medical field and improve patient care. More recently, a Boston heart surgeon and participant in the project hired a team of more than 40 engineers to create virtual twins of patient hearts enabling the care teams to devise and practice patient specific plans of action at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Beyond the heart, the Living Brain Project is modeling the brain to advance targeted epilepsy surgery and the Living Eye Project launched last year to better understand common causes of blindness and advance toward restoring sight. At an event last spring, Dassault Systèmes executives announced plans  as part of the company’s 2040 vision “to position the virtual twin as way to propose a platform for medical practice excellence and value-based care.”

“Imagine if you’re able to understand, represent, test and predict what can’t be seen – from the way a drug affects a disease to the outcome of a surgical intervention,” Claire Biot, our VP of Life Sciences and Healthcare, said at the time.

Outside of the body, virtual twins have been used to make hospitals safer and patients feel more at-ease. Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris used virtual twins to study air flow simulations in its dialysis department and prevent the transmission of airborne viruses throughout the hospital. The VORTHEx project at the H. Hartmann Institute of Radiotherapy and Radiosurgery in France lets patients experience their treatment in virtual reality through virtual twins of radiotherapy sessions.

MEDITWIN will build on experiences like these, accumulated over the years by Dassault Systèmes and other partners, to continue to advance the use of virtual twins in medicine and work toward standardizing their use for the benefit of millions of patients around the world.

Ambitious goals for MEDITWIN

Dassault Systèmes is the industrial leader of the consortium, which also includes seven university hospital institutes, Nantes University Hospital via I’institut du thorax, Inria and four startups: inHEART, Codoc, Qairnel and Neurometers. They’re all bringing industry-leading know-how to the table and focus on their areas of expertise.  

For example, inHEART will focus on prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death, which results in the loss of 800,000 lives each year. And Qairnel’s virtual twins simulate the evolution of patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and MEDITWIN will help them put their tech in the hands of practitioners.

The MEDITWIN project will seek to provide clinical validation and standardization of virtual twin-enabled innovations, so that they can be deployed widely in a standardized way. The goal: to benefit as many people as possible.

“The best standards of care will be incorporated into virtualized experiences made accessible worldwide, setting a new benchmark for quality in healthcare and providing a decisive learning ground for progress in medical science,” the press release said. “The benefits of virtual twins will be assessed for medical teams, patients, and the healthcare system, notably in terms of improving the efficiency of care, quality of multidisciplinary decision-making, and effectiveness and safety of medical practices and interventions.”

The MEDITWIN project will be financially supported by the French government as part of the “France 2030” plan.

Learn more about advancing patient care and embracing the consumerization of healthcare using Dassault Systèmes’ solutions.

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