4 Reasons to Avoid Simulation in Healthcare: Let’s Discuss it in Boston!

LabCentral in Cambridge, MA, is a first-of-its-kind shared laboratory space designed as a launchpad for high-potential life-sciences and biotech startups.

Many claim that engineering simulation in healthcare will be critical. The only way to get a clear and complete answer would be to ask the question “Is simulation essential for healthcare?” to the people using computer modeling and simulation (CM&S) routinely for medical device design, biotech or pharmaceutical process modeling during the ANSYS Healthcare Innovation Conference in Cambridge, MA on May 10th.

Fifteen years ago, after a long investigation on the adoption of simulation in the automotive industry, Prof Stefan Thomke from Harvard Business School concluded that

“using engineering simulation is not a competitive advantage anymore; in fact, NOT using simulation is now a competitive DISadvantage for the automotive industry”.

Considering the number of publications in this field, and my discussions with leading medical device and pharma companies, I am convinced that we have now reached the same level of adoption in healthcare.

Yet many people are still hesitating to adopt simulation:

  1. heart simulation in healthcareHuman tissues are too complex to be modeled in a reliable way! I recently discussed that numerous surgeons are now using modeling routinely during the surgery planning phase, trusting simulation results to make the right decision in Sheffield, Rennes (France), and Poland, to mention a few.
  2. The Return on Investment (ROI) is not clear! As illustrated in our recent Best of Healthcare magazine, many companies, small and large, have reported very large savings in cost, time, improved performance. Leading medical device companies have suggested strategic savings leading to a ROI of 1 to 30!
  3. The regulatory authorities won’t trust an in silico approach! Following a 2015 note of the US Congress and a vote of the European Parliament, the FDA is now recommending the use of Computer Model and Simulation not for replacing (pre)-clinical trial but to anticipate and complement them through ‘in silico clinical trials”.
  4. This advanced technology is for large companies, not for SMEs! If a vast majority of the large healthcare companies have indeed widely adopted engineering simulation, small companies or even start-ups are using an in silico approach to successfully challenge the market leaders.

Very often, we are looking for excuses for not, at least, considering new technologies therefore putting our own business at risk in a global competitive market.

Let me invite you to look for solutions and specific testimonials from Biogen, Johnson and Johnson, Phenomyx, Amgen, Granta Design and ANSYS to find out if and how simulation will make a big difference to your business; let me encourage you to network with these successful innovators and listen to a vision that will transform healthcare.

Please REGISTER NOW  for the Healthcare Innovation Conference in Cambridge, MA on May 10th to learn more about the exciting advancements in simulation in healthcare.

5 thoughts on “4 Reasons to Avoid Simulation in Healthcare: Let’s Discuss it in Boston!

  1. create some other element type , the element property are define in such way that complete related to human body , make a new tool box , which is complete related to human body related simulation , element property can vary as per age as per gender , in case of solid fluid interaction make a new element type properties that can carry both the solid fluid property , lots research going on . that type of simulation is very use full now days , ex bone patch , nurb related simulation etc ,

  2. Hi Thierry?
    I always follow your updates on helathcare with great interests. Thanks for sharing! May I ask for more details on the reference to the US Congress note and the EU parliament vote?
    Ulf in aseptic packaging

  3. Thanks for your post. Based on my experience, there are 2 reasons I can think of as to why the speed of CM&S acceptance is slow between the the engineering industry (EI) and the medical industry (MI).
    The EI are ‘full of like minded engineers’ obviously primed to absorb CM&S technology like the automotive industry, where as the MI, are primed to value clinical trials and their own medical experience.
    Engineers and medical personnel don’t circulate enough in the same circles. For instance, as an engineer, I prefer to attend a medical conference (full of medical staff) and my secondary preference is to attend a biomedical engineering conference (full of engineers) so there isn’t enough cross dialogue development and networking between the two industries.
    However, I do believe EI and MI will eventually move a lot closer together in the future.

    • Thanks for your comment Raymond. I fully agree. This is why at ANSYS we are now funding a few PhD students who are based in the hospital and therefore could interact daily with the clinicians. We are also supporting a few start ups typically led by an engineer and a clinician to develop some interface on top of ANSYS to be used directly in the OR. This is a very exciting experience. See for example Sim & Cure, Therenva, Bracesim.

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