Toward dynamic virtual patients: Use of models from the Virtual Physiological Human Initiative.

April 9, 2013 9:45 – 11:15am

Andrzej  Kononowicz1, PhD, Martin Bayley2, PhD, Andrew J. Narracott2, PhD,  Eleni Dafli3, PhD Candidate, Panagiotis Bamidis3, Associate Professor, Nabil Zary1, Associate Professor,
1Karolinska Institute, 2The University of Sheffield, 3Aristotle University Thessaloniki

The principle of experiential learning in medical education is to provide a safe environment for active experimentation to allow the learner to develop a non-analytic understanding of pathophysiological processes. Most of the virtual patients (VP) currently available in the MedBiquitous Virtual Patient (MVP) format are based on static real-world patient data. Whilst this ensures realism it limits the learners interactions with the VP to scenarios for which data has already been obtained. The Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) Initiative has funded several research projects to develop models of physiology and development of disease, mostly focussed on the improvement of clinical decision making. Through activity within the VPH Network of Excellence, the University of Sheffield and Karolinska Institutet have developed a framework for the exploitation of research project output in medical education. A case study was undertaken to incorporate simulation output from the VPH ARCH project into a VP to clarify the process of selecting the best vascular access for haemodialysis patients. The VP was authored in the open source Bit Pathways environment, then exported to Open Labyrinth using a MVP interface and finally evaluated at two medical schools in Krakow and Thessaloniki. The goal of the presentation will be to highlight the crucial steps when authoring a VP incorporating outcomes of a simulation and to discuss the challenges in representing it in the MVP format.