How to accelerate the uptake of simulation in healthcare

In Silico World is one of the three Horizon 2020 funded projects InSilicoTrials Technologies is part of. We are in a consortium of 17 international partners, coordinated by the University of Bologna, that will receive €7.6 million funds by the European Commission to develop 11 in silico trials solutions leveraging state-of-the-art computational technologies to test the safety and/or the efficacy of medical devices, medicinal products, and even advanced therapy medicinal products such as tissue engineering constructs for regenerative medicine. 

The solutions will focus on some serious diseases such as osteoporosis, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, coronary stenosis, cerebral aneurysms, mammary carcinoma, and Covid-19 infection.  As these advanced models are further improved, the consortium will also work on the definition and development of: data collections for validation; technical standards and regulatory pathways for qualification; policy documents and information packages for citizens, patients, clinicians, senior management in medical industries; computational strategies to improve scalability and efficiency of simulations; new curricula to educate the workforce on the development and use of in silico trials technologies; and robust business models for the commercial exploitation of these innovative solutions. All with focused attention to legal and ethical implications of such disruptive technologies. 

The 17 members of the consortium – coming from different European countries (Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and Hungary) – include 7 universities (Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna; Universiteit van Amsterdam; Eindhoven University of Technology; Università degli Studi di Catania; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; University of Liège; Budapest University of Technology and Economics), 3 companies (InSilicoTrials; Mimesis; RSscan International), 4 research hospitals (Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna; Garibaldi Hospital, Catania; National Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Budapest; Erasmus Medical Centre), 1 International research centre (Sano Foundation), 1 non-governmental organisation (VPH Institute), and 1 standardisation body (DIN, Deutsches Institut für Normung). 

Our tech company – founded in 2018 by a team of life sciences, cybersecurity, and digital innovation experts – aims to democratize the use of modeling and simulations in healthcare through a unique cloud simulation platform that is easy to use and cost-effective. Within In Silico World, we will lead the analysis of the business opportunities for the technological solutions developed during the project, aiming to maximize the impact and the commercial exploitation of the tools through the marketplace platform InSilicoTrials.comOur CEO and Founder Luca Emiliwho is also Leader of the Good Simulation Practice Task Force at the Avicenna Alliance, will have the role of Innovation Manager, monitoring the project results’ exploitation and helping partners to develop intellectual property rights strategy.  

The ambitious goal of this 4-year project is to lower barriers to adoption and accelerate the uptake of simulation in healthcare and the development and regulatory assessment of medicines and medical devicesThe long-term impact of this cutting-edge technology will be the drastic reduction of animal testing, human testing, and development costs and duration, while maintaining or improving the level of safety provided by traditional approachesThis means lower price and shorter time-to-market for new medical products and devices, eventually resulting in better treatments and cures for a higher number of patients. 

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