Page last updated at 08:07 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 09:07 UK

Human model funded 'to help GPs'

An award of 2m euros has been made to Bedfordshire University who aim to create a new model of the human body.

The European Commission has funded the international project to develop a "Virtual Physiological Human" (VPH).

The university said the multi-scale computer model could "revolutionise healthcare in the next 20 years".

The VPH aims to create a complete picture of the way humans function down to molecular level and is aimed to aid GPs with patient diagnosis.

Professor Gordon Clapworthy, of the University of Bedfordshire, said: "It is often difficult to gauge precisely how prescribing several drugs will affect a patient's condition as there may be unforeseen interaction between the substances.

"By adapting the generic VPH model to the individual patient by methods to be developed within forthcoming projects, it will be possible to run detailed simulations of the effects of various combinations of therapies on that individual patient.

"This will enable us to ascertain the most beneficial course of treatment to adopt, and to tune the different dosages to achieve the optimal outcome, both in terms of patient well-being and healthcare cost."

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