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Digital Twins Are Reinventing Innovation

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Digital Twins Are Reinventing Innovation

From faster and cheaper drug trials to fully “conscious” cities, digital replicas are changing the face and pace of innovation.

MIT Sloan Management Review,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Digital replicas of the real world are playgrounds for innovators.

Editorial Rating



  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Architects consult a digital twin of Notre Dame Cathedral, ravaged by fire in 2019, to begin restoring the historic treasure. Scientists develop a digital replica of an aerosol drug to test its effectiveness in targeting lung tumors. Software developers design a digital twin of a railroad coach to test the effects of wind and climate conditions on passenger comfort. Mark Purdy, Ray Eitel-Porter, Robert Kruger and Thijs Deblaere from Accenture explore the many innovative ways that industries, health care providers and cities are using digital-twin technology and offer a glimpse into its future.


Digital twins offer innovative ways to perform tasks that have traditionally taken months or years.

Digital twins create intriguing opportunities to accelerate the pace of innovation. Consider the strides that digital twins already make:

  • Engineers and architects consult a digital twin of Notre Dame Cathedral to begin restoration after the devastating 2019 fire.
  • Automaker Tesla creates a digital twin of every car sold. Engineers and product designers use sensors to continually evaluate their cars’ performance to push real-time maintenance updates and to upgrade future product...

About the Authors

Mark Purdy is a managing director with Accenture Research. Ray Eitel-Porter is head of applied intelligence at Accenture UK. Robert Krüger is global lead of Accenture’s Engineering X.0 practice. Thijs Deblaere is a senior analyst with Accenture Research.

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