Medical Experiments on your Digital Twin

By Daniel R. Matlis

2015 Dassault Analyst Conference


The Holy Grail of Life-Science and Healthcare is the development of a virtual human model; to enable medical experiments in-silico, rather than in-vivo.

In mid-June, I had the opportunity to see the next link in this evolution of the virtual human model while attending Dassault Systèmes’ analyst conference at the company’s headquarters in Vélizy, France, just outside Paris.  There, I was briefed by company executives on Dassault Systèmes (DS) vision in general and its Life-Science strategy in particular.

During his opening remarks, Bernard Charlès, DS President & CEO discussed the company’s vision to use the 3DEXPERIENCE to create ”Digital Twins” for physical systems across multi-domains (physical, chemical / biological /materials) and multi-scales (from atomic to large scale).

It was also clear from my interactions with Monica Menghini, EVP, Corporate Strategy, Industry and Marketing. Jean Colombel, Vice President of the Life Sciences Industry, and   Dr. Reza Sadeghi, Managing Director at BIOVIA, that the firm is investing heavily in the Life Science industry.

The Biovia Effect

Dassault Systèmes’ acquisition of Accelerys last year and the creation of the BIOVIA brand, provided the company key capabilities in the development of the virtual human model.  As a result DS is developing the tools needed to support medical experimentation on a digital twin instead of in-vivo to realize the vision of a virtual human model for each of us.

Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes
Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes

Creating a virtual human model is not a trivial process.  Given that each of us is made up of over 120 trillion living cells, creating our digital twin requires modeling these cells, cell-to-cell interactions, and organs that are comprised of these cells.  This means that creating your digital twin requires modeling each individual cell, as well as its interactions with the others in a systematic approach.

According to Dr. Reza Sadeghi, “DS 3DEXPERIENCE enables researchers to model and simulate the Digital Twin to better understand, enhance, and experience it. BIOVIA’s models are based on first principles.  Physical experiments are deductive, limited by real-world boundary conditions and you cannot measure what you cannot instrument.  The Digital Twin approach is based on an Ab-Initio approach supporting the deductive approach.  This allows researchers to see the unseen, to better understand the patient, to support creation of innovative therapies, to enable the personalization of care and enhance treatment decisions.”

Not Resting on Last Year’s progress

At last year’s event, DS demonstrated the living heart project, and in November announced a five-year collaborative research agreement with the USFDA. Through this agreement, FDA intends to use the model to target the development of testing paradigms for the insertion, placement and performance of pacemaker leads and other cardiovascular devices used to treat heart disease. Earlier this year, DS announced the commercial availability of The Living Heart.

This year the company is focused on the rollout of the BioPLM platform in support of the BioIntelligence initiative. According to Jean Colombel, BioPLM will lead to a major paradigm shift in pharmacological R&D practices. “The goal of BioPLM is to develop a series of software applications allowing Life Science industries to adopt Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) methods to conduct their research and development activities. These software applications will build upon a common platform, so-called the BioPLM platform, specifically designed and developed in the course of the project to enable any group of researchers to consolidate all the information relevant for their field of experiments into a format usable by the software suite.”


Dassault Systèmes continues to deliver on its vision to utilize the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to address the world’s pressing problems.  The company strives to utilize the experiences and knowledge it has gained in its core industries, such as Aerospace & Defense and Transportation & Mobility, to drive innovation in Life Science and Healthcare.

The future looks bright for medical experiments on your digital twin.  We will continue to monitor and report how Dassault Systèmes executes on its commitment to making its vision a reality for its customers and the patient.

Stay tuned…

To download a PDF version of the Research Note, please click here.

The opinions and analysis expressed in this research reflect the judgment of Axendia at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice. Information contained in this document is current as of publication date.  Information cited is not warranted by Axendia but has been obtained through a valid research methodology.  This document is not intended to endorse any company or product and should not be attributed as such.

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