ScienceTalk

Virtual patients for therapeutic drug trials

Using modelling, different doses of drugs can be given to 'patients' to test effectiveness

Using computer software and virtual patients, drug trials can now also be conducted outside laboratories, an approach that has been endorsed by drug regulators in the United States, Europe and Japan.
Using computer software and virtual patients, drug trials can now also be conducted outside laboratories, an approach that has been endorsed by drug regulators in the United States, Europe and Japan.PHOTO: REUTERS

In the science fiction movie Ready Player One, the virtual world was an escape from the harsh realities of the real world, an oasis where individuals can go anywhere, do anything and be anyone.
 

In today's world, could virtual simulation technologies be extended to high-risk human research, such as drug trials, on people?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2018, with the headline 'Virtual patients for therapeutic drug trials'. Print Edition | Subscribe