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Models and Simulations are the Cornerstone of Personalized Medicine

Learn how in silico simulations enable personalized medicine.

When healthcare providers optimize treatments for the average person, they are effectively optimizing it for no one in particular. As a result, the medical industry is starting to embrace the idea of personalized medicine and in silico testing.

Personalized medicine is the idea of tailoring a medical treatment for the individual — not the masses. To achieve this level of optimization, medical practitioners use simulations, models and digital twins of their patients to perform in silico tests.

ANSYS Advantage — Best of Healthcare 2018 highlights healthcare treatments that are tailored for the individual patient. In these stories, you will learn the role simulation played in saving and improving people’s lives.

Here is a preview of some of those stories.

Using Digital Twins to Target Lung Tumors

Researchers use digital twins to tailor chemotherapy drug delivery to each patient.

When doctors prescribe aerosol chemotherapy, they can expect only 20 percent of the drug to actually reach the lung cancer.

The doctors could increase the dose and ensure more of the drug reaches the tumor, but higher doses of chemotherapy will negatively affect the patient’s health.

To address this dilemma, researchers at Oklahoma State University use ANSYS computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The researchers use these to show it is possible to develop aerosols that ensure 90 percent of the drug reaches the tumor.

Better yet, doctors can develop a personalized medicine treatment plan using this analysis and a digital twin that is based on a patient’s CT/MRI scans.

In other words, this analysis can be used to create an aerosol that is tailored to the geometry of the patient’s lungs.

To learn how the researchers plan to help doctors develop these personalized medical treatment plans via an app, read Targeting a Tumor in ANSYS Advantage — Best of Healthcare 2018.

Simulations Optimize Surgeries for Babies with Heart Defects

Simulations of a pulmonary artery show the effectiveness of four different surgery options — TCPC 1 to 4 (front view of the artery is at the top; back view of the artery is at the bottom).

When a baby is born with a single-ventricle heart defect, the prognosis is dire.

The child will need multiple surgeries to rewire its cardiovascular system to work with one ventricle.

Clinical studies show that the long-term survival rate of these procedures varies wildly.

This exists because surgeons have a few options when rewiring the cardiovascular system. However, they have no way to know which is the best option for each patient.

Surgeons at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center use ANSYS CFD to determine the optimal way to perform these surgeries for each patient. This example of personalized medicine results in improved surgical effectiveness and a better quality of life for each child.

To see how surgeons save the lives of these children, read: Hearts Content in ANSYS Advantage — Best of Healthcare 2018.