June 02, 2009

Making virtual patients a reality with eViP

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/warwickmed/

Virtual patients are set to become more of a reality in medical training with help from the eViP programme, a collaboration between Warwick Medical School and seven other European universities, and co-funded by the European Commission.

Virtual patients are computer simulations of real-life clinical scenarios, widely used by medical students an educational tool to help develop their clinical decision-making skills early in their training. 

This concept is nothing new - universities have been creating and using their own models for some time. However, eViP aims to create a bank of over 320 virtual patients that are freely available under a Creative Commons Licence. Not only that, but the virtual patients will be tailored, or ‘repurposed’, to suit the educational, linguistic and cultural needs of a range European countries.

Chara Balasubramaniam from St George's, University of London is the eViP programme manager. He says: “eViP will provide the medical and healthcare community with a large multi-lingual and multicultural collection of virtual patients. We’ll also provide best practice guidelines for sharing and repurposing virtual patients, in addition to guidelines on how to openly share resources using the Creative Commons licence. Ultimately the overall vision of eViP is to improve the quality and efficiency of medical and healthcare education throughout Europe and the world.”

Dr David Davies at Warwick Medical School is heading the ‘Awareness & Dissemination’ phase of the eViP project, where he aims to raise the profile of eViP activities. This includes the launch of the new eViP website at the forthcoming International Conference on Virtual Patients [link to: www.icvp.eu] on June 4th 2009, and the creation of an online community of healthcare professionals and students with an interest in using virtual patients.

As David explains: “eViP seeks to build collaborations with other like-minded groups, and explore the integration of these resource within the different approaches to medical and healthcare curricula across Europe.”

For further information visit http://www.virtualpatients.eu/

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