Keynote Talk at IEEE MECON 2022

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Professor Amft gave a keynote talk at the 2022 IEEE International Mobile and Embedded Technology Conference (MECON 2022).

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The notion of digital twins is well-established for technical systems, in particular mechanical devices. Yet our understanding of the merits and use of human digital twins is still very limited. In this talk, I will give an overview on our efforts in co-designing and utilising wearable and implantable technology and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms with and against human and technical digital twins for medical applications.

The talk will start with a practical example on the relevance and impact of wearables observed in the German “RKI Corona Datenspende” initiative, a citizen data donation effort to monitor the COVID-19 development at regional and federal levels. The initiative is by far the largest data donation project worldwide that exploits wearable device data to fight SARS-CoV-2. The data is used to create physiological population models, which – as a side product – could serve as basis for human digital twins.

Subsequently, the talk will highlight how wearable and implantable system design and AI algorithms can be selected and optimised in co-simulations with human digital human twins with examples from movement rehabilitation, dietary monitoring, and other areas. But the reverse approach has potential too, i.e. to inform digital twins from body-worn device data. I will show how we add realism to human digital twin models to maximise system design insight and create advanced decision support systems, e.g. to support healthy behaviour choice of obese patients.

In scaling up the concept of human digital twins, I will show how we recently modelled individual daily life behaviour in an agent-based model and integrate it into mass behaviour, which was then applied to analyse human proximity, interaction, and SARS-CoV-2 virus spread under different interventions, including contact tracing, test-to-release, and quarantine. The modelling developed for the behaviour simulations has been inspired by the human digital twin idea and exploits the vast design space given by virtual worlds in which we expose the created individuals.

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg