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Health & Pharma

Dell partners with i2b2 to create digital twins of ‘long COVID’ patients

by Ben Wodecki
Article ImageDell is providing a data enclave to store patient information of long COVID sufferers

Dell Technologies is teaming up with non-profit i2b2 tranSMART Foundation to create digital twins of patient profiles in order to analyze the impact of ‘long COVID-19’ cases.

The pair will use de-identified patient data to produce the digital twins in the hope of determining the best possible therapy options for those suffering from the virus.

Dell used machine learning, along with advanced storage capabilities, to generate the digital twins, which are then stored in a purpose-built data enclave.

“This project is a perfect example of the global research and technology community coming together to support people who are suffering from a condition that is not well understood,” said Jeremy Ford, vice president of strategic giving and social innovation at Dell.

Using data to defeat long COVID

An estimated one in 20 people with COVID-19 are likely to experience long-term symptoms, which can include fatigue, brain fog, headaches, cardiac arrhythmia, fevers, and shortness of breath.

Little is known about why some continue to be affected by Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC), the official name for the ‘long COVID,’ or how the long-term impacts will play out.

Dell said that the research conducted in partnership with i2b2 will “support hospitals and research centers globally and contribute to Dell’s goal to use technology and scale to advance health, education and economic opportunity for one billion people by 2030.”

In Dell’s newly created data enclave, information from various monitoring systems and electronic health records will be stored and analyzed by medical researchers – with the potential to update the digital twins with real-time clinical data produced in the future.

Researchers will use the data enclave to power 70,000 patients' tests, simulations, and analyses, which will be shared with the 4CE Consortium, an international coalition of more than 200 hospitals and research centers including data collaborators across the US, India, and the UK, among others.

“At this stage, healthcare professionals are breaking new ground by developing and evaluating the efficacy of COVID-19 treatments,” Dr. Shawn Murphy, i2b2 tranSMART Foundation board member, said. “This new AI-driven platform will help them use the explosion of research findings to deliver better care and precision treatments for their patients. By creating these digital twins, we are taking clinical research to a whole new level.”

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