The Human Digital Twin / HDT

Since 2015 I have been investigating the possibility of transferring all (my) data into a personal repository.

All documents, career, education, interests, IDs, certificates, insurances, financial informations, important memories but also snippets like Strenghts (Gallup): 1. Strategic 2. Ideation 3. Individualization 4. Maximizer 5. Learner or my Belbin rating (Chairman/Shaper) or my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (ENTP) should create my virtual companion.

Creating a Jay Librarian, so to speak.

It continued with fitness trackers, which (as long as the battery lasted) provided continuous data. Smartphones also generate a lot of data via GPS, acceleration sensors, cameras and all the other embedded microspies.

In 2016, as part of a project, I was able to see what additional options there are, e.g. with smart plasters that I could try out for a VR project.

Additional data loggers found their way into my laboratory, such as smart scales, various smartwatches, chest straps, sleep analysis gadgets, breathing analysis and some others.

In the future I will experiment with smart textiles and smart fashion, brain interfaces (non-invasive), eye tracking, indoor radar and whatever else will be possible.

Of course, the extraction of the data from apps & websites is quite complex, but feasible. We will need standards, APIs and regulation. Data ownership needs to be clarified.

In 2017 I took part in a project to create a safe environment for psychotherapy. A virtual world where the patient could interact with his fears and work on coping mechanisms.

Human Augmentation

Visiting innovation hubs, I was able to try out various devices to support people in their work and also to measure them. A whole ecosystem of wearables exists and even new parts can be added like a third thumb

or a tail for better balance.

Shortly before the pandemic, I’ve dealt with the perception of my own work (mostly desk work) and satisfaction with it. Everyone knows the nagging feeling, the question: what have I done today?

Some approaches either advocate a recap in the evening to see what you have achieved, others recommend a summary the next day to get back on track. This “work record” would be helpful in order to get back into the flow more quickly in the event of an interruption (yes, the colleague is annoying again or the boss has a “quick” question).

Then the pandemic hit us all and I’ve experienced a new, self-determined quality of work. Wellbeing became more and more important and with it the need to deal with quality time.

So how can I generate my personal imprint from all the data and processes that I have collected? And which use cases are possible with this sensor / data fusion?

Healthcare use cases are the most obvious.

Where the digital medical file is not in the doctor’s folder, but with the patient. Continuously enriched with the collected data and trends from the users wearables.

Just imagine a doctor’s visit, in person or remotely, that could become much more efficiently and purposefully, when your latest data could be shared during the session.

Or when the current status is sent to the HDT immediately after the dentist’s visit.

We could describe any issues more precisely with the HDT, and all cross factors would become visible.

If genetic data were also available in the future, lifestyle changes, nutrition, stress & balance… Significantly better prognoses, individually adapted medication and even surgery simulations would be possible. Predictive and proactive healthcare instead reactive health repair would become standard.

Imagine remote surgeries with the best experts, supervised by the medical AI, coordinated through your HDT.

Reducing waiting times, even mobile medical services in self driving “ambulances” carefully orchestrated by remote staff and AI become thinkable.

And what else?

My interest goes beyond that, if my personality profile, my biometrics, my routine, the workflows and even interests were known to the HDT, it could take part in meetings on my behalf and inform me if I explicitly have to be present or should decide smth. The rest of the time “he” can just nod his head and give me a summary.

In 1987 Apple described its vision of a Knowledge Navigator. Parts of this vision meanwhile exist in our smartphones, tablets, digital assistants. But still the context in data is missing.

My HDT could help me with research, an assistant who is helpful and does not distract. With cognitive computing, he could adapt and react how I need it. When in hurry, giving me short informations instead huge elaborations. If my stress level increases, he reorganizes my schedules and gives me time to breathe.

I describe it as my personal wellbeing intermediate between work and health.

Based on these considerations, where else could this HDT be helpful?

Smart Work

Currently we have all the different sensors (mostly) available, the software is in development, use cases are in discussions.

Example employee interaction, wellbeing, stress and burn out prevention, via staged system of between Corporate AI => corporate Digital Assistant => HDT.

  1. A central AI (C-AI) as a coordinator in the company. This would have access to the internal processes and reports. Decisions are nothing more than processes with defined sources. With a BIAS mitigation tool, even these decisions could be largely free of prejudice. A decision-making process to support the executives as best as possible. The automation of overarching processes should also take place here.
    HR could go from being a reactive department to being a proactive one.
    I have an open source framework in mind here. Direct communication with a Corporate Digital Assistant (C-DA) but not with the HDT.
  2. Corporate Digital Assistant, would be a toolset to be developed specifically for the company, with access to internal calendars, emails, documents, etc. Record meetings in order to make them available as minutes. “Proxy” between C-AI and HDT.
    Training and further education are also addressed here in order to support the development of employees.
  3. Our Human Digital Twin on the employee’s smartphone. Here skills could be recorded individually. Direct communication with the C-DA and only in exceptional cases with the C-AI.

New Work on speed or Human Relationship instead Human Resources

With this construct, job cards from the C-DA could be compared with the HDT and only forwarded as a match (and if interested). Job cards would be described in a much more qualified way and contain necessary (measurable) skills. Skills sharing between employees would be conceivable.

This leads to a relief for the employees. It is becoming more and more important that people (spectrum of purpose) do meaningful activities. They are only of use to employers if they are passionate and convinced.

Here, among other things, massive emphasis should be placed on the automation of workplaces with the help of RPA & CPA. This “time compression”, i.e. the possible elimination of recurring tasks, can generate quality time that leads to innovation.
On- and offboarding would improve massively and counteract the brain drain.

Employees can be automatically supported in further development through requalification platforms. His own level of knowledge can be queried and qualified, then he receives suggestions on how to expand his knowledge.

Augmented decision making

Every decision-making process is based on logic and facts. Well should be… Our AI could (depending on the area) wait for the input and evaluate it according to criteria. Transparent and thus comprehensible, decision templates could be created for the respective committee. Decision making would be sped up and just one click away.

Employee wellbeing

When an getting ready for work, the HR-AI could ask “how are you”. If the value is suboptimal and categorized physical (Overnight, increased temperature, coughing etc) or psychical (stress factors, permanently in hurry, e-mail replies are suspicious etc) the AI could react and deny the entry (important due pandemic) or schedule an appointment.

IMPORTANT: HDT does not reveal the information, only transmits an initial ok/nok.

Business travels and expats

What about embedding other useful services into this considerations? Employee engagement and incentivization? Or a virtual helper when on business travel? Services like PIVT help the employee feel “like home” when away from home.

A whole smart ecosystem around the human becomes possible.

What would you do with your HDT?