TSA recently partnered with Digital Twin Analytics (DTA) to create a digital twin to test models of care for the redevelopment of a major Australian emergency department. Their paper on this work was presented at two international conferences in June and July: European Healthcare Design 2023 in London and MedInfo 2023 in Sydney.

We have now written a collaborative white paper exploring this innovative use of a digital twin to improve health project planning. In it we detail the process, outcomes and recommendations for future use of digital twins in health planning.

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Digital twins are a highly effective addition to traditional model of care and health facility planning. They allow project sponsors to run simulations that test if their proposed model of care or facility layout will function as intended.

On a recent project our team used a digital twin to test new models of care as part of the redevelopment of a major emergency department in Australia. The digital twin revealed unforeseen issues that would create bottlenecks and rapidly overwhelm the system. This early warning has allowed the team to revisit the models of care during the early planning stages, before any capital expenditure or changes to operational procedures.

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TSA's authors

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Robyn Brigden – Principal and Health Advisory Lead, TSA
Robyn has more than 20 years’ experience in high level operational and strategic positions within the health sector, including NSW Health. Since 2014 she has consulted on complex health projects across NSW, Qld and the ACT. This included hospital redevelopments for Goulburn, Bowral, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Mudgee and Tweed Valley Hospitals. Robyn has a deep understanding of health service delivery, asset performance and functionality, and how these enable models of care and efficient sustainable health service delivery.

Carla Edwards – Senior Health Planner, TSA
Carla has over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in healthcare service delivery, program co-design, and change and project management. She combines creative, innovative applications and ideas with robust business strategy and evidence-based knowledge. Her recent projects include Health Planning Lead for Rouse Hill Hospital Development, model of care development and facilitation for Eurobodalla Regional Hospital, Senior Health Planner for Ryde Hospital Redevelopment and development of functional design briefs for the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Redevelopment.

Naomi Byrnes  – Senior Health Planner, TSA
Naomi has 25 years’ experience in the health sector. She is a skilled health planner who understands the importance of the upfront planning process in the success of a major health facility development to support new models of care and service. She brings clinical experience across a diverse range of acute and sub-acute clinical settings in both public and private healthcare settings. Naomi’s recent roles include Health Planning Lead for Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Redevelopment through schematic design and clinical design development, Health Planning Lead for Ryde Hospital Redevelopment, Senior Health Planner for John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct, and Senior Health Planner for Tweed Valley Hospital Redevelopment.

Andrew Bott – Project Director, TSA
Andrew is an experienced health service executive, senior health planner and project manager with 30 years’ experience working in the health sector. He has extensive knowledge of health care environments across a diverse range of acute and sub-acute clinical and nonclinical settings in both public and private sectors. Andrew’s recent projects include Project Lead for Ryde Hospital Redevelopment, Senior Health Planner for RPAH Stage 1 Redevelopment and Project Lead for the John Hunter Hospital.

Digital Twin Analytics' authors

Peter Bodon – Principal, Digital Twin Analytics
Peter has over 25 years’ experience in the application of dynamic simulation and optimisation modelling for complex, highly dynamic systems and processes. He provides transformational decision support techniques that allow clients to make better system design decisions and to understand why they are the best decisions to make.  He has worked across a broad spectrum of industries and problem classes including supply chain, mining and minerals, water, power and transport infrastructure; healthcare delivery infrastructure; and rail and port operations.

Chris Glassock  – Principal, Digital Twin Analytics
Chris has over 30 years’ experience in global technical and management consulting, project management, engineering, construction, and maintenance services organisations. He worked on his first digital twin in 1992 which modelled BHP Iron Ore’s pit-to-port supply chain in Western Australia. That model is still in use today.  Since then he has been involved in a wide range of domestic and international projects in industries ranging from mining, transport, telecommunications and health.  He draws on an engineering mindset to work with clients to break complicated problems down into a set of less complicated problems.