"Google Earth transformed into Google Body" – a virtual map of humanity
An international team are planning to build virtual twins of individual human bodies on supercomputers - to test reaction to major surgery and also to help with the treatment of serious illness. These digital doppelgängers are being built by the CompBioMed project team, a computational biomedicine project.
The digital doppelgänger will mirror everything from how a person's heart beats and lungs work, right down to their personal DNA code.
The virtual human aims to touch all aspects of life.
The CompBioMed project's coordinator, Professor Peter Coveney is based at University College London.
He says the project could have a very wide application:
"I would like this not to be seen as a purely medical activity in the sense of (it being) negative; people are unwell, they have to go to hospitals to be treated. Ultimately, this is something I'd like everyone to have access to, because it's something that speaks to individual approaches to existence.
"So your lifestyle can be dictated - in a positive sense - by a better understanding of your physiology.
"So maybe one could think of the concept of a Google Earth transformed into a Google body, which is for each individual.
"They can own their own representation of themselves, get access to it and investigate what the best things are that they can do to improve their lifestyles."