Talk at ZiMT Journal Club
Title: Digital twins can steer neurostimulation towards precision medicine
Abstract: Neurostimulation strategies are potentially effective and risk-, time- and cost-limited treatments for the approximately 22% of Europeans suffering from neurological disorders. Technologies such as spinal cord stimulation and deep brain stimulation are already clinically-approved treatments for neuropathic pain and Parkinson´s disease. Fostered by technological and economic opportunities, scientific and industrial bodies seek new strategies to interact with the nervous system, without clearly understanding the underlying computational architecture or interaction between the neurostimulation technology and the nervous system. Yet, efficacy, safety, and robustness of neurostimulation strategies depend on a large set of parameters, including location, design, choice of electrodes, and amplitude, frequency, and waveform of stimulation. Given this vast parameter space, it is infeasible to perform therapy optimization through clinical research alone, especially since optimal stimulation parameters may vary between subjects. Instead, we believe that the identification of effective, safe, and robust neurostimulation strategies can be achieved more efficiently by hypothesis-driven engineering, guided by digital twins.