SIMCor at the VPH 2022 Conference
From 6 to 9 September 2022, the city of Porto, Portugal, is hosting the main events of reference for the in-silico medicine  community: the Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) 2022 Conference, the theme of which would be “Digital twins for personalized treatment development and clinical trials”. The conference will be held at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto and its programme will include plenary lectures, academic and industrial sessions, workshops, poster sessions and networking events.
Besides the VPH Institute organising the event, representatives of our consortium, including Charité (CHA), Lynkeus (LYN), Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) and University College of London (UCL) will attend and present some of the ongoing work and preliminary results of the project through talks and poster sessions (see the VPH 2022 Abstract Book for further details).
More specifically, SIMCor work will be reported in the following 3 speaker sessions:
- Validation of a synthetic cohort of aortic stenosis patients. Computer modelling and simulation (CM&S) based on cardiovascular imaging data has become increasingly relevant for diagnosis and treatment planning for patients affected by aortic stenosis, as it allows non-invasive calculation of physiological parameters of interest for diagnosis and post-treatment evaluation, supporting the identification of optimal treatment strategies or development of novel devices. This effort, though, is impeded by lack of available data sets due to data privacy regulations. The generation of synthetic data overcomes such problems but poses the issue of achieving realistic representations of human physiology. In this study, based on a sample of 101 patients, researchers at CHA generated synthetic data of aortic stenosis patients including demographics, functional parameters, geometries of the aorta and the aortic valve and presented an approach for its validation, by assessing whether the data matches the cohort of patients it is intended to mimic. The study findings indicate that a thorough approach for generation and validation is necessary to ensure physiologic ranges of the synthetic data set, further highlighting the need for the virtual cohort generation method to be developed and validated in SIMCor. In: Session 5 – Computational tools and simulation in biomechanics 1 (Wednesday 7 September, 14:15 – 15:45 CEST).
- Non-parametric statistical shape modelling for in silico trials of TAVI. In-silico clinical trials are a promising method to increase efficacy and safety of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) devices used for the treatment of patients with aortic stenosis (AS). To this aim, researchers at TUE have successfully reconstructed synthetic geometries of patient aortic valves by setting up a new Statistical Shape Model (SSM)-based methodology able to accurately reconstruct real aortic valve geometries, including relations between valve shape and clinical parameters of interest, such as the pressure drop across the aortic valve. In: Session 13 – Cardiovascular 2 (Thursday 8 September, 08:30 – 10:30 CEST).
- Computer modelling and simulation in clinics: mapping usage and opinions for advancing in-silico medicine. This study, jointly conducted by the VPHi and UCL, was aimed at investigating current awareness, actual usage and opinions of clinicians on the current state of CM&S in the clinics, to identify potential opportunities, strengths and barriers for the advance of in-silico medicine. In: Session 19 – In silico clinical trials 2 – Thursday 8 September, 13:45 – 15:00 CEST).
SIMCor will also present 2 posters:
- Identification of the most influencial factors on pulomonary artery hemodynamics using variance-based sensitivity analysis, by TUE;
- Surrogate mode-based sensitivity analysis of a one-dimensional arterial pulse wave propagation model with correlated input, a work by TUE carried out as a joint effort between SIMCor and In Silico Wolrd.
Noteworthy, the VPH Institute in collaboration with the Avicenna-Alliance Public-Patient Involvement (PPI) task force has organised and will chair the workshop
- Workshop 3 – Public and patient outreach and engagement for in silico medicine, that will address the importance of involving multiple stakeholders, and in particular healthcare professionals and patients, by exploring the role of patient engagement for in-silico research, its principles and best practices from a patient perspective, with the participation of EUPATI (European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation) and under the guidance of a science communication expert, including a hands-on session on ‘communicating your in silico research to a general audience’ (Tuesday 6 September, 14:00 – 17:00 CEST).
Also of note, SIMCor representatives will take part in an informal networking session with the other in-silico projects of the SC1-DTH-06-2020 (Accelerating the uptake of computer simulations for testing medicines and medical devices) Topic (i.e., In Silico World, SimCardioTest, SimInSitu), with the aim of prosecuting our fruitful collaboration so far and organising our next gathering during the SimCardioTest plenary meeting in Bordeaux, to be held in March 2023. The four projects will also share an ‘in-silico projects’ exhibition booth sponsored by the VPH Institute.
 In silico medicine is the application of computer modelling and simulation (CM&S) in the study, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of a disease.