The Synergy-COPD project aims to study the underlying mechanisms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) phenotypes associated with poor prognosis. This is done by simulating different functions of the human body using computer models at different levels (sub cellular, tissue, organ and organ system). In this way, the behavior of each physiological network can be observed separately and in an integrated way. The project seeks to produce a more complete computer model of the mechanisms of COPD. These computer tools (representing a vast compendium of medical knowledge, in the form of a program, drawn from epidemiological data, clinical trials and physician interviews), and translated into differential equations will contribute to replicate the human physiology.
The project addresses two main strategic areas. Firstly, contributing to foster the convergence between basic and clinical sciences. Secondly, the project applies the new approach not only to conventional care, but also promoting the link between systems medicine and integrated care, aiming at personalized health for patients suffering chronic diseases.
Synergy-COPD is already delivering and validating outcomes with outstanding impact both in clinical practise and research : in the first case, a Clinical Decision Support System to bring early diagnosis of COPD to primary and informal care, and support prognosis and therapy management of the chronic disease; in the second case, a Simulation Environment powered by a Knowledge Base to allow bioresearchers interact with models and data to help improve their understanding about the underlying mechanisms of the disease.
These novel tools are proving to have great value for COPD as our use case, although their approach may be leveraged in the future when targeting new diseases and new medical domains.