“Emma” Virtual Twin to Drive Healthcare Innovation

Avatar designed to raise awareness of how virtual twins can be tapped to understand diseases and treatment effects.

Avatar designed to raise awareness of how virtual twins can be tapped to understand diseases and treatment effects.

Dassault Systèmes’ Emma Twin is designed to raise awareness of the role of virtual twins in healthcare. Image Courtesy of Dassault Systèmes


It’s common practice to use virtual human models in automotive applications to test critical safety and ergonomic factors as cars are being designed.

Now we have Emma, a virtual avatar that Dassault Systèmes is positioning as a crash test dummy for healthcare, intended to raise awareness of the role of virtual twins in improving quality of treatments and patient care.

Emma Twin, created using an anonymous woman’s health data and characteristics, can be tapped for infinite rounds of testing designed to give doctors and medical researchers a better understanding of diseases as well as the effects of new and emerging treatments. The goal of applying a virtual twin to healthcare challenges is to develop more patient-centric healthcare models that improve experience, deliver the best surgical outcomes, and help patients better understand the impact of their disease and treatment options.

Using Emma’s 3D-modeled body, doctors and researchers can analyze disease effects and test remedies and procedures without creating undue risk for their human patients. Emma will enable those healthcare researchers and professionals to visualize, test, understand, and predict outcomes before a patient is treated, whether that’s related to how a body might respond to a particular drug treatment or the outcomes of a surgical plan prior to the actual procedure.

Dassault Systèmes has a long history of creating virtual twins for healthcare applications. “Our virtual twins have been used to swiftly develop COVID-19 vaccines, optimize surgical procedures, and provide patients with a greater understanding of treatment options,” says Victoire de Margerie, the company’s vice president, corporate equity, marketing & communications. “By leveraging our pioneering technology, we can draw attention to major healthcare challenges and demonstrate how the virtual world improves outcomes in real life.”

Much of the Emma project will be ensuing social media posts that will document the avatar’s participation in on-going research and medical innovations underway at Dassault Systèmes and its partners. Emma will be involved in clinical trials using Medidata solutions; showcasing the reaction of her heart to different procedures in the Living Heart project; and testing CorNeat Vision’s corneal transplants. Also on tap for Emma—participation in the Living Brain studies related to epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, optimizing the home for older adults, and studying various medical device solutions and implants, including LUCID Implants’ customized facial implants.

Emma Twin is part of Dassault Systèmes’  “The Only Progress is Human” initiative, which aims to use virtual experiences to help solve 10 global challenges, including those in health care.

You can follow Emma’s work here on LinkedIn or watch this video to see Emma in action.

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About the Author

Beth Stackpole's avatar
Beth Stackpole

Beth Stackpole is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to [email protected].

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