Integrating two distinct Virtual Patient systems: Identifying challenges and the role of the MedBiquitous Virtual Patient standard

April 9, 2013 9:45 – 11:15am

Luke Woodham1,MSc, Matthew Cownie2, BSc, John Wright2, BSc,  Sheetal Kavia1, BSc
1St George's, University of London, 2UWE Bristol

The advent of a post-PC world, with a rapidly evolving ecosystem of mobile devices, is creating the demand from learners that their education is delivered via these new modalities. This requires educators to provide access to such content on a range of platforms and devices, requiring resources beyond the means of most learning technology departments. The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and St George’s, University of London (SGUL) both use Virtual Patient (VP) resources extensively with learners. UWE’s UChoose platform is a complete web-based suite for authoring and delivering branching VPs, and has been widely used in a range of contexts. SGUL’s MedAssess platform delivers assessment VPs to learners on mobile devices. Both systems have taken the MedBiquitous Virtual Patient as a basis for their data structures, designing the systems around the standard. The VP standard has been used previously to transfer cases from other VP platforms into MedAssess. This collaboration beween UWE and SGUL looks at a deeper level of system integration to allow the automatic exchange of data between the systems without manual intervention, in a way that is transparent to the end user. The objective for the collaboration is to enable content to be accessed across the range of supported platforms. While the standard was designed to exchange VPs, it can also be used to support a deeper level of system integration, allowing effective reuse of expensive content.