Virtual 3D models of the body and individual organs will allow us to test drugs and procedures faster than ever before with no harm to patients or animals.
Clinical trials (i.e. testing a drug in humans) can take years to perform - going through phase 1 (checking for safety), phase 2 (checking for efficacy and side-effects) and phase 3 (monitoring adverse reactions). Less than one in ten successfully make it to market. That's a lot of wasted time and effort.
Digital modelling allows testing from a cellular level to whole body interactions to take place in silico - in software. As the digital models improve, and the speed of computers continue to increase, rather than taking months to perform a phase 1 trial this may be carried out in a few days on a supercomputer. Even if not 100% accurate to start with, it should at least increase the success rate of drug development.
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