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.
Digital Modeling Blog Posts
Real-time neuron simulation achieved by the University of Manchester
New Scientist - 08-Oct-2019
Only represents a tiny amount of brain, but will eventually be more powerful than humansRead more...
Tumour cells examined in virtual reality
BBC - 26-Dec-2018
Allows researchers to better understand tumour structure and examine it from any angleRead more...
Algorithm Is a Big Step Towards Whole-Brain Simulation
Singularity Hub - 21-Mar-2018
International team completely revamped the structure of a popular simulation algorithm.Read more...