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Enhancing Clinical Trials with HPC-Driven Simulations



Engineers are enhancing HPC simulations to help researchers observe the effects of drugs, treatments, and procedures, thereby increasing cost savings and replicating positive outcomes.

Today’s organizations rely on the latest IT innovations to operate quickly, effectively, and cost-efficiently. Among these advancements, modeling and simulation software has become essential to helping business owners simplify operations, enhance IT performance, and achieve better results—without overwhelming their budgets.

The manufacturing and engineering (M&E) sector is ClinicalTrialBlog.jpgdelivering cutting-edge solutions to help organizations succeed, including the right products to enhance and accelerate simulation capabilities. Life sciences organizations in particular stand to gain a great deal from these offerings.

Accurate, real-time insights are key to diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions. Researchers use clinical trials to gauge the safety and effectiveness of new medical devices, procedures, and medications. Yet extensive testing can be time-consuming, expensive, and risky, and it may produce different results than when the treatment is applied in the real world. And with thousands of new studies being conducted each year, costs of clinical trials are approaching an unsustainable level.  

Researchers are now leveraging advanced simulations to enhance these trials, increase the likelihood of reliable test results, and uncover benefits and risks associated with new developments. Today, simulations backed by high performance computing (HPC) technologies are merging data from historical trials, electronic health records (EHRs), and patients themselves to conduct realistic and cost-efficient virtual studies. An initiative called the Living Heart Project is working to harness these large volumes of medical data in order to produce the world’s first 3D models of the human body, enabling researchers to develop more effective medical devices, drugs, and procedures than ever before. The Project’s most recent innovation includes the Living Heart Human Model, which has advanced the use of simulation to deliver safe and effective cardiovascular devices and clinical treatments.

Big Data analytics is key to furthering modeling and simulation techniques, allowing professionals to hone in on evidence—rather than rely on assumptions—to make more accurate business-critical decisions. Because predictability is a fundamental component of clinical trials, researchers rely heavily on predictive models to identify implications across a range of assumptions. Realistic simulations have become essential for furthering breakthrough medical advancements as researchers use them to replicate a variety of conditions in order to predict the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Pharmaceutical companies are one faction benefiting significantly from these innovations. In a study conducted by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), pharmaceutical researchers are investing huge amounts of time and money into medicinal trials; however, only 10% of medications are ever approved, and the developmental process can take nearly a decade. Thanks to advanced analytics and modeling, virtual models can now be used to predict and monitor the body’s response to experimental medications in real-time. The ability to simulate clinical testing not only saves valuable resources, but it also allows pharmaceutical companies to streamline trial design, investigate a wide range of variables, and improve outcomes, which speeds time-to-market.

The explosion of Big Data is rapidly transforming the way the medical research community performs clinical trials. M&E companies are leveraging data-driven HPC simulations to help researchers observe the effects of drugs, treatments, and procedures, thereby minimizing risks to trial participants and quickly identifying and replicating positive outcomes.

Modeling and simulation techniques are driving breakthroughs across all industries, offering endless possibilities not only for scientific discovery but for an increased quality of life. To learn more about these groundbreaking technologies, I invite you to follow me on Twitter at @Bill_Mannel. You can also visit @HPE_HPC.

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Bill Mannel
VP & GM - HPC & AI Segment Solutions

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About the Author


As the Vice President and General Manager of HPC and AI Segment Solutions in the Data Center Infrastructure Group, I lead worldwide business and portfolio strategy and execution for the fastest growing market segments in HPE’s Data Center Infrastructure Group which includes the recent SGI acquisition and the HPE Apollo portfolio.