Digital Twins in Healthcare
Have you ever wondered how manufacturers can make prototypes without relying on production? Or how routine maintenance has become a matter of machine learning? That’s thanks to the power of digital twin technology, which is revolutionizing the real-time abilities of a variety of business sectors. This includes the health care field. Let’s take a closer look at what this technology entails, and how it’s helping patients, doctors, and even insurance companies.
Explaining Digital Twin Technology
The phrase “digital twins” refers to a dynamic digital representation of a process, service, or physical product. These forms can be evaluated and manipulated based on analysis in a range of working environments. The digital twin concept brings physical and virtual worlds together. A digital twin makes use of real-world data to create a simulation via a computer program that predicts how a product or process will fare. These programs are easily integrated into other technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and even software analytics.
Digital twin models usually fall under three types: product twins, process twins, and system twins. Product twins are digital models of separate products that can be examined under different conditions. Through this, changes can be made to a product before it is physically manifested. This results in more efficiency and design and cutting back on expenses to get that product to market. Process twins offer a digital model of inner operations, placing systems under varying scenarios to fine-tune services. System twins create digital models of entire systems, gathering information and insights on devices and physical processes to assess needs for repair.
Benefitting Patient Care
The digital twin approach has become of great use to the healthcare industry. Digital models are used to provide a real-time assessment of availability within health facilities. For example, hospitals have used digital twin models to locate bed shortages in ICUs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This has allowed for the optimization of patient care to make sure that needs are addressed with immediacy and availability of staff. This same digital twin technology is used by operating rooms to control scheduling in the event of emergency procedures.
Digital twin models are also used to monitor patient care for the long run. Members of a patient’s care team can now rely on real-time analytics on treatments and test results to get the best overall assessment of needs from prescription medicine to potential surgical intervention. The digital transformation has truly changed the game for patients, who are now able to have easier access to their records and to medical care thanks to portal systems of collected data that emphasize security and reliability.
Benefitting Provider Care
A built environment through digital twin technology gives doctors and nurses a better overall picture of staffing needs in facilities. This gives an idea of any bed shortages within a hospital or overlaps within appointments. A digital twin approach will also permit a medical care team to assess their options when treating a patient. The concept of a digital twin can determine a customized healthcare solution to allow for better preventive care.
This digital twin approach is also being seen in the pharmaceutical realm, allowing companies to have a better assessment of their supply chain to make sure that medicine is being manufactured safely and efficiently. This also checks business processes for any unnecessary downtime that could be delaying product development. A digital twin application can also be used by the health insurance industry to better assess claims for faster payout to patients and providers alike. The truth is that the concept of a digital twin can not only boost business value but can assure that patients and doctors alike are accounted for.