In Silico Medicine Italy Outlines Pathways to the Adoption of In Silico Medicine to Innovate Healthcare
A document, written by the Italian Ministry of Health and some experts on in silico medicine — among which the CEO of In Silico Trials — highlights the strengths of these new methods to allow a faster adoption in the national health system.
Milan/Italy — After two years of work, the Italian Ministry of Health publishes “Pathways to the Adoption of In Silico Medicine in Italy”, an important step forward that establishes the validity and effectiveness of in silico methodologies in the healthcare sector, with the aim of accelerating their use by the National Health System.
The working group that developed the document, in addition to researchers like Prof. Marco Viceconti of the University of Bologna, included Luca Emili, CEO and Founder of tech company In Silico Trials, which is innovating the life sciences sector, also thanks to consolidated relationships with the American FDA and the European EMA.
Just as the study on living organisms is called in vivo and in cell cultures is called in vitro, by analogy the term in silico describes the modeling, simulation and visualization of biological and medical processes in computers, referring to the silicon used in microprocessors. In Silico Medicine uses these technologies to create computer models that predict an enormous amount of data that is difficult to measure in the individual patient, allowing clinicians to make the best possible decision for each patient (Digital Twins), and to ensure the safety and efficacy of new drugs, reducing the use of animal and human experimentation (In Silico Trials).
The document published by the Ministry of Health supports the adoption of these disruptive technologies in order to grant a better quality of healthcare, but also a significant cut in costs: the Digital Twin technologies could allow savings of over 30 % on the cost of advanced medicine solutions, while the In Silico Trials technologies could reduce the development cost by an average of € 150 million for each new drug.
The authors argue that these opportunities can be seized provided that efforts are made to create the conditions for the use of in silico technologies. The document analyzes the current barriers to adoption and lists the recommendations and steps that experts believe are necessary to start the uptake process, including:
- the creation of suitable infrastructures for example for high performance computing;
- the development of competitive public-private partnerships around in silico technologies;
- the possibility of secondary use for research and innovation purposes of clinical data in digital format, in compliance with the laws on privacy and ownership of health data.
“The recent pandemic has shown how in silico methods can accelerate the development of new drugs and personalize therapeutic treatments. We must accelerate the adoption of these technologies, working to lower all the barriers that slow down this process. Projects like In Silico World have exactly this mission”, explains Prof. Marco Viceconti, co-author of the document and coordinator of the EU-funded In Silico World project.