Biology and Computational Modelling in Healthcare

Biology and Computational Modelling in Healthcare

The Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine has released a series of films sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), which examine the biological roots of computational modelling in medicine.

In silico or ‘Computational’ Medicine, has the potential to transform healthcare by bringing fresh insights into complex diseases. Personalised computer simulations can provide additional diagnostic information, such as biomarkers, and indicate the likely progression of each patient’s condition.

These mechanisms are increasingly being used where current approaches are difficult, risky or impossible, and are building a new systematic framework for clinical decision-making. The computational models, grounded in fundamental biology and operating according to physical rules, provide a new understanding of the behaviour of biological systems, right down to the cellular and even the molecular levels.

In silico medicine is a rapidly developing interdisciplinary research field helping to bridge the gap between biology, engineering, medicine and science. Insigneo’s unique collaboration, between academics from the University of Sheffield and clinicians and researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, provides an exceptional mix of skills, insights and experience, and is daily demonstrating the benefits of introducing computational technology into medicine.

Professor Richard Clayton, Insigneo Director for External Affairs, explained: ‘Harnessing these fundamental aspects of biology within our computational models is bringing increased precision to the simulation of human health, in conditions of normal life and in disease. This increased understanding is already beginning to revolutionise approaches to healthcare, both preventative and therapeutic. We are seeing an acceleration of growth in discovery science and in the impact of modelling on the delivery and cost of healthcare. It is an exciting time to be working to ensure the sustainability of universal healthcare.’