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Interface Focus. 2013 Apr 6;3(2):20130004. doi: 10.1098/rsfs.2013.0004.

A vision and strategy for the virtual physiological human: 2012 update.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics , University of Oxford , Oxford , UK ; Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) , University of Auckland , New Zealand.
2
Laboratory of Anatomy, Biomechanics and Organogenesis, Faculty of Medicine , Université Libre de Bruxelles , Belgium ; Laboratory of Anthropology and Prehistory, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels , Belgium.
3
Centre for Computational Science , University College London , London , UK.
4
Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) , University of Auckland , New Zealand ; CHIME Institute, Archway Campus, University College London , London, UK.
5
Department of Mechanical Engineering , University College London , London , UK.
6
Department of Cardiovascular Science (Medical Physics Group), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health , University of Sheffield , Sheffield , UK.
7
Networking Biomedical Research Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Barcelona , Spain ; Center for Computational Imaging and Simulation Technologies in Biomedicine (CISTIB), Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
8
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences , The University of Melbourne , Australia.
9
Department of Computer Science , University of Oxford , Oxford , UK ; National Heart and Lung Institute , Imperial College London , London , UK.
10
Cardiac Exercise Research Group, Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim , Norway.
11
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne , Switzerland ; Politecnico di Milano , Milan , Italy.
12
Department of LIME , Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet , Stockholm , Sweden.
13
Empirica Communication and Technology Research , Bonn , Germany.
14
Department of Medicine, Unit for Computational Medicine, Center for Molecular Medicine , Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet , Stockholm , Sweden.
15
IR4M CNRS UMR8081, Institut Gustave-Roussy, Dept Imagerie/Echographie, Orsay , France ; Université Paris-Sud, CNRS , Orsay , France.
16
Computational Medicine Laboratory , Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH) , Heraklion, Crete, Greece ; Computer Science Department , University of Crete , Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
17
Bioinformatics Laboratory, Institute of Computer Science , Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH) , Heraklion, Crete, Greece ; Computer Science Department , University of Crete , Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
18
Section Medical Genomics, Department of Clinical Genetics , VU University Medical Centre , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.
19
INSIGNEO Institute for in silico medicine , University of Sheffield , Sheffield , UK ; Laboratorio di Tecnologia Medica, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna , Italy.

Abstract

European funding under Framework 7 (FP7) for the virtual physiological human (VPH) project has been in place now for 5 years. The VPH Network of Excellence (NoE) has been set up to help develop common standards, open source software, freely accessible data and model repositories, and various training and dissemination activities for the project. It is also working to coordinate the many clinically targeted projects that have been funded under the FP7 calls. An initial vision for the VPH was defined by the FP6 STEP project in 2006. In 2010, we wrote an assessment of the accomplishments of the first two years of the VPH in which we considered the biomedical science, healthcare and information and communications technology challenges facing the project (Hunter et al. 2010 Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 368, 2595-2614 (doi:10.1098/rsta.2010.0048)). We proposed that a not-for-profit professional umbrella organization, the VPH Institute, should be established as a means of sustaining the VPH vision beyond the time-frame of the NoE. Here, we update and extend this assessment and in particular address the following issues raised in response to Hunter et al.: (i) a vision for the VPH updated in the light of progress made so far, (ii) biomedical science and healthcare challenges that the VPH initiative can address while also providing innovation opportunities for the European industry, and (iii) external changes needed in regulatory policy and business models to realize the full potential that the VPH has to offer to industry, clinics and society generally.

KEYWORDS:

computational physiology; multiscale modelling; physiome; systems biology; virtual physiological human

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