Digital twins and the future of precision mental health

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Science faces challenges in developing much-needed precision mental health treatments to accurately identify and diagnose mental health problems and the optimal treatment for each individual. Digital twins (DTs) promise to revolutionize the field of mental health, as they are doing in other fields of science, including oncology and cardiology, where they have been successfully deployed. The use of DTs in mental health is yet to be explored. In this Perspective, we lay the conceptual foundations for mental health DTs (MHDT). An MHDT is a virtual representation of an individual’s mental states and processes. It is continually updated from data collected over the lifespan of the individual, and guides mental health professionals in diagnosing and treating patients based on mechanistic models and statistical and machine learning tools. The merits of MHDT are demonstrated through the example of the working alliance between the therapist and the patient, which is one of the most consistent mechanisms predicting treatment outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1082598
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Spitzer, Dattner and Zilcha-Mano.


  • digital twins
  • mental health interventions
  • personalized medicine
  • precision mental health
  • psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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