What Can Digital Twins Do for Healthcare?

Digital twin technology is revolutionizing how different industries work, with healthcare having great potential to positively impact people’s lives. A digital twin in healthcare is a digital replica of a physical object or system. 

Digital twins are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare industry as a way to improve patient care and reduce costs. Manufacturers of medical devices or pharmaceuticals can use digital twins to develop new products and therapies, improve existing ones, or redesign equipment that produces those goods.

Digital twins can be used to test out new treatments before they are used on real patients, ensuring that they are safe and effective. With so many potential applications, it is clear that digital twins have the potential to greatly improve healthcare.

What exactly are digital twins?

Digital twins are sophisticated models that use artificial intelligence (AI) and large amounts of digital and physical data to accurately replicate a real-world object. That object could be a process, a person, a device, or a system.

To create a digital twin, mapping of a physical object or space is done through imagery and LiDAR to capture every minute detail. Then, real-world data is added to the digital replica. Computer vision, AI, and machine learning are used to process the information, allowing users to model possible scenarios and outcomes on the digital twin’s counterpart in the real world.

With the help of life sciences companies, it is possible to develop personalized treatments more rapidly, for physicians to make more precise clinical decisions, for patients with chronic conditions to receive customized treatment options that extend and improve their lives, and for resource-starved hospitals to maximize staff efficiency.

The healthcare industry has only begun to benefit from the power of digital twins. 

This technology has the potential to transform healthcare and improve patient outcomes. Though the use of digital twins in healthcare is still in a relatively new stage, there have been some remarkable breakthroughs. 

Scientists are using 3D digital twins to mimic the cells in patients’ hearts to determine if surgery is warranted, too risky, or necessary, significantly decreasing the time to operation.

Digital twins are also being used to fulfil the promise of personalized medicine. 

This includes allowing physicians to leverage digital care-backed clinical decision support solutions and potentially thousands of variables to intelligently model the best course of treatment.

Digital twins are being used in a variety of new ways to improve healthcare, including:

– Development of new medical devices.

– Modelling of diseases.

– Digital therapeutics and virtual reality-based therapies.

– Hospital operations. 

– Advanced understanding of the human body. For example, digital twins of organs, a genome, or a single cell can be generated, allowing researchers to experiment with innovative treatment and surgical options.


Make no mistake—digital transformation is occurring at a rapid pace in healthcare, and this speed increases the potential for both opportunity and risk, particularly with an emerging technology that has not yet been fully tested.

The good news is that, as digital twins emerge in healthcare, we can learn from best practices in other industries. The potential human impact of digital twins in healthcare is so great that we cannot afford to ignore these lessons.