All entries for June 2009

June 08, 2009

Casualty 1909

Perhaps surprisingly for someone who specialises in ehealth and the use of new technologies in healthcare, I have recently been spending my spare time researching the early twentieth century.

I have been advising the makers of a new six-part BBC TV drama set in the receiving room of the London Hospital in 1909, suggesting medical storylines to the writers and advising on set with the director and actors. Plenty of parallels are drawn between then and now - not least issues of poor performance, addicted doctors, and whistleblowing.

Another theme of particular relevance to my day job is how innovation gets into practice. A big storyline for this series is the use of new anaesthetic drugs and their pitfalls. This series is also about the role of women, working as nurses in The London (which did not allow them to train as doctors at this time) set against the backdrop of suffragism. 

If you are interested its called Casualty 1909 (but has nothing to do with Casualty, promise) and starts on Sunday 14th June at 9pm on BBC1. There is a trailer on youtube here:

Dr John Powell
Associate Clinical Professor in Epidemiology & Public Health

June 02, 2009

Making virtual patients a reality with eViP

Writing about web page

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:] 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

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  • Dear Dr Gadsby, I listened with interest to the recent case notes programme. I worked in various pha… by Robert Carter on this entry
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