Digital Twin Heart Built for Boston Marathon ChampionDigital Twin Heart Built for Boston Marathon Champion
Desiree "Des" Linden will receive the virtual model of her heart to improve athletic performance and enable personalized health care
October 17, 2023
2018 Boston Marathon champion Desiree "Des" Linden has become the first recipient of a digital twin heart, a virtual replica of the organ designed to optimize athletic performance and personalize health care.
Created by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Dassault Systèmes, the digital twin provides real-time data on the heart’s function, efficiency and response to different activities and medications.
The digital twin will allow the two-time Olympic marathoner real-time monitoring of her heart rate, blood flow and oxygen levels. She will also be able to simulate and test different training scenarios for peak performance.
"Digital Twin Heart technology will not only provide unique insights into heart health and performance, it can pave the way for future athletes and individuals to optimize their health and wellness,” Linden said. “Digital twin technology has the potential to make everyone’s training so dialed in and can inspire more people to run.”
The digital twin is created using scans such as an MRI, along with data from historical and speculative data sets. A physical replica of the heart can also be 3D-printed, allowing surgeons to practice new techniques and solutions without endangering the person themselves.
The model continuously monitors biometric factors such as Linden’s heart rate, blood flow and oxygen levels. This data is then used to enable real-time insight during training and races, as well as a means of testing different medications and treatments and adapting health care plans accordingly.
"Sports and technology have tremendous power to come together and change lives,” said Debashis Ghosh, TCS’ president of life sciences. “Des’s Digital Heart can optimize her training, performance, and recovery but this technology is important for reasons far beyond sports – it can ignite a personal healthcare revolution. With heart disease the leading cause of death in the U.S., it is more important than ever to innovate techniques to keep hearts healthy.”
While the current project looks at the heart of an athlete, TCS has its sights set on wider deployments.
“Imagine if a full digital twin of Des was created,” the company website says. “And what if that digital twin of a person had an entire digital twin of a marathon course to train on?
“This…project to create an advanced digital heart for one of the world’s top athletes is designed to prove the tremendous potential that is on the horizon.”
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