Researchers

In Silico World is pursuing several goals thanks to its multidisciplinary, cross-cultural approach and a set of resources aimed at lowering the seven barriers that are slowing down a wider adoption of In Silico Trials.


The researcher’s
perspective

Nowadays, almost all industrial sectors use modelling and simulation to develop and de-risk new products, but this is not the case in the healthcare sector. Why?  

The limited adoption of in silico technologies in healthcare is justified with the arguments that the human body is excessively complex to be modelled, and that for many physiological and pathological processes of interest the causal and quantitative knowledge required to build mechanistic computer models is lacking. 

Nevertheless, many years ago, researchers all around the world started to develop models able to predict changes in the health status of an individual patient, eventually showing that there was indeed enough knowledge to build accurate models, and that the resulting complexity could be tamed with the flexibility of modern modelling technologies, and the huge computational power now available. 

In silico medicine is now a fast-growing research field with a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural approach that benefits from the contribution of experts from very large institutions.

If we consider the end-users, we can divide In silico medicine in three sub-domains: 

  • Digital Patient solutions, where the user is the medical professional
  • Personal Health Forecasting solutions, where the user is the patient
  • In Silico Trials, where the end user is the biomedical industry. 

The In Silico World project focuses its attention on In Silico Trials, defined as the use of modelling and simulation to assess the safety and efficacy of any medical product. 

The In Silico World consortium had identified seven barriers that are slowing down the wider adoption of In Silico Trials:  

1. Lack of advanced models 

2. Lack of independent validation collections 

3. No clear regulatory pathways 

4. Poorly informed stakeholders 

5. Poor scalability and efficiency 

6. Lack of trained workforce 

7. Lack of business models

 

> Check out the detailed Barriers

Resources for researchers

To lower these seven barriers, the In Silico World project will make publicly available a series of resources.  These are those of potential interest for researchers: 

Better models: develop more advanced models for the evaluation of safety and efficacy for both medicinal and medical device products. 

Validation collections: define requirements for data used as inputs of In Silico Trials models; analyse contexts of use and define requirements for validation collections; organise collections of existing data; support the formation of prospective collections. 

Scalability and efficient computing: handle large-scale simulations by improving efficiency (cost and duration) of IST simulations and scalability of existing IST solutions. User interfaces to supervise thousands of simulation results. 

Re-training and education: re-training of technical and non-technical professionals on the use, revision of the curricula of both technical and non-technical biomedical education to include IST elements.

 

> Check out the programme of the 2nd International School on In Silico Trials

 

We also provide advanced, easy to use simulation environment enabling researchers repeatability, replicability and finally reproducibility of their simulation results; and an efficient access and usage of computation and storage resources in local and the main European e-infrastructures such as PRACE, EOSC, Eudat, as well as future EuroHPC. 

We disseminate towards the community around the use of In Silico Trials, the availability of several resources (technologies, validation data, first in-kind regulatory decisions, technical standardisation plans, good modelling practices, scalability and efficiency-improving solutions, exploitation business models, etc.) that will permanently lower the seven barriers to adoption for any future development.

A community of practice

> Join the community

In order to remove barriers to the adoption of In Silico Trials we cannot work in isolation. Therefore, we launched the In Silico World community on Slack, an invitation-only, collaborative, safe space for experts of in silico medicine.