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Stud Health Technol Inform. 1998;52 Pt 2:1278-81.

Virtual patients for a virtual hospital.

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Medical Informatics Programme, National University of Singapore, Republic of Singapore.


With the introduction of VBscript & Active-X it is now possible to construct interactive websites with ease. This paper discusses the author's experience in setting up TWO different 'VIRTUAL PATIENT' websites. One such site, named VIRTUAL PATIENT 97, is based upon a goal based scenario, in this case the clinical management of common clinical problems like upper gastro-intestinal bleeding in a surgical ward. The second website, CLICK 'n' LEARN, is essentially a health education website providing material on common chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and asthma. The first module deals with aspects of self care in diabetes. Included are textual as well as video clips which show various elements of diabetes self care: like the administration of insulin or the usage of a glucometer. An added twist is a target oriented interface borrowed from the TAMAGOTCHI. If the user dutifully looks after his virtual diabetic, it will thrive & the disease will be well controlled, else the virtual patient deteriorates in accelerated time. This allows for safe experimentation & promotes awareness of the importance of self care in the total management of chronic illnesses.

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