Networking Architecture and Key Supporting Technologies for Human Digital Twin in Personalized Healthcare: A Comprehensive Survey

The universal framework of HDT.


Digital twin (DT), referring to a promising technique to digitally and accurately represent actual physical entities, has attracted explosive interests from both academia and industry. One typical advantage of DT is that it can be used to not only virtually replicate a system’s detailed operations but also analyze the current condition, predict the future behavior, and refine the control optimization. Although DT has been widely implemented in various fields, such as smart manufacturing and transportation, its conventional paradigm is limited to embody non-living entities, e.g., robots and vehicles. When adopted in human-centric systems, a novel concept, called human digital twin (HDT) has thus been proposed. Particularly, HDT allows in silico representation of individual human body with the ability to dynamically reflect molecular status, physiological status, emotional and psychological status, as well as lifestyle evolutions. These prompt the expected application of HDT in personalized healthcare (PH), which can facilitate the remote monitoring, diagnosis, prescription, surgery and rehabilitation, and hence significantly alleviate the heavy burden on the traditional healthcare system. However, despite the large potential, HDT faces substantial research challenges in different aspects, and becomes an increasingly popular topic recently. In this survey, with a specific focus on the networking architecture and key technologies for HDT in PH applications, we first discuss the differences between HDT and the conventional DTs, followed by the universal framework and essential functions of HDT. We then analyze its design requirements and challenges in PH applications. After that, we provide an overview of the networking architecture of HDT, including data acquisition layer, data communication layer, computation layer, data management layer and data analysis and decision making layer. Besides reviewing the key technologies for implementing such networking architecture in detail, we conclude this survey by presenting future research directions of HDT.

IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials (IF: 35.6, Q1)
This survey paper has been submitted to IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials (COMST) on 29th September, 2022, and has been accepted on 21st August, 2023.
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Jiayuan Chen
Jiayuan Chen
PhD Candidate in Computer Science and Technology

My research interests include Human Digital Twin (HDT), Network Resource Management, Edge Computing and Edge Intelligence, Tactile Internet (TI), and Data-Driven Optimization and Learning.