Life Sciences & HealthcareJune 30, 2023

Using simulation to help stop virus transmission in hospitals

When Saint-Louis hospital in Paris detected virus particles circulating in its dialysis unit, it sought help from Dassault Systèmes to understand exactly what was happening, through virtual twin and simulation technology.
Avatar Patrick Ball

Can more be done to help shield vulnerable patients from catching highly contagious viruses when they go into hospital for treatment? That’s the question a team of medical professionals at Saint-Louis hospital asked themselves.

They wanted to understand more about the spread of airborne pathogens and the measures they could take to help prevent virus respiratory transmission among patients. Thanks to an exciting partnership with Dassault Systèmes, they found an innovative way of tackling the question, using virtual twin and simulation technology to visualize particle contamination.

The project focused on the hospital’s dialysis unit, which treats over 50 patients per week. Because these patients have kidney failure, they are immunocompromised and tend to be more susceptible to picking up infections. Wearing masks and maintaining good hand hygiene was already standard practice. The hospital also carried out bio-cleaning between treatment sessions. Yet despite all these precautions, Saint-Louis’ infection prevention and control team, known as ESPRI, still detected virus particles circulating in few areas in the room and wanted to find out exactly what was going on.

“We needed to create an airflow model of our system,” said Dr. Guillaume Mellon, responsible for monitoring everything related to infectious risks in the hospital. “Thanks to augmented reality, an innovative educational tool, we have been able to reveal the invisible.”

The organization took advantage of an Outcome-Based Engagement approach, whereby Dassault Systèmes experts carried out an extensive study into virus propagation within the dialysis department. This involved creating an accurate, full-scale 3D model of the room, simulating particle contamination and testing different scenarios and setups within the space to improve ventilation. They carried out all work out on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on cloud before presenting their findings to the hospital through a unique augmented reality experience.

Thanks to the simulation results, Saint-Louis hospital was able to take proactive measures to prevent virus transmission. Based on the success of this project, Mellon and his team are excited about how else they can use these kinds of technologies to improve healthcare and better protect most vulnerable people.

Read the full story to discover more about the simulation results and the measures Saint-Louis took to significantly reduce particle contamination and improve air quality.

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