What if everyone had their own medical avatar - a virtual replica of themselves featuring their own personal data - that could improve the way their health is managed and the way they are treated if they fall ill?
That is the bold proposal put forward by the Health EU project, whose tagline is "Human avatars to prevent and cure diseases".
FET Flagship is a prestigious multi-disciplinary research program run by the European Union that offers €1 billion in funding over ten years.
"What we are proposing is a totally revolutionary way of handling health issues," explains Adrian Ionescu, a professor of nanoelectronics at EPFL and one of the project's originators.
With its avatar-based system, Health EU aims to achieve improved disease prevention, early diagnosis, more accurate monitoring and customized, targeted administration of medicines and treatments, especially for increasingly common diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular, chronic and neurodegenerative disorders.
The project's core idea is to combine customized medicine with digital technology, using the latest technological developments such as connected objects, artificial intelligence and the concept of "digital twins".