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MedBiquitous Virtual Patients Working Group Plan

Outline objective: to develop a standard for the description and exchange of virtual patient data between different healthcare educational contexts.

The following are guiding principles for guiding the work of the group:

  • The standard should be as simple as can be without compromising functionality. The standard should encompass as wide a set of requirements as possible while retaining core simplicity.
  • The standard should be a data exchange format and need not represent the internal architecture or functionality of VP delivery/rendering systems.
  • The data model will be expressed as an XML schema and as documented procedures.
  • The standard should as far as possible be based on existing architectures for patient data and educational materials

The first substantive activity of this group will be the development of a common data model for the exchange of virtual patient clinical data. Although it is expected that subsequent work will look at issues such as state, activity modelling and similar issues, there is a core requirement for such a core patient data framework:

  • Workpackage 1: background work on existing work in virtual patients - this should draw together as much existing work on virtual patients as possible so that the developed standard is designed to be compatible with and informed by the breadth of knowledge and experience in the community. This workpackage will consist of identifying contributors, acquiring exemplar/demonstrator materials and lodging them on a central project website.
  • Workpackage 2: background work on adopting existing patient data models for use in modelling virtual patients. This is expected to concentrate on evaluating HL7/RIM/CDA for its suitability for this purpose although other candidate systems are welcomed.
  • Workpackage 3: discussion and agreement on the scope and requirements of the standard and the first draft of its elements and their arrangement. This will include deciding on the fundamental purpose of the standard - whether it is just to model virtual patient data, to model the state of a virtual patient activity or whether it is to model the activity itself. It will also be involved with developing a roadmap for the standard's development; it is expected that subsequent work will be undertaken on successful completion of workpackage 5.
  • Workpackage 4: the iterative development of the framework and creation of the XML schema. This involves taking the standard through design, testing and internal workgroup agreement to standards panel agreement and comments. A major component of this workpackage will be the development of demonstrator projects.
  • Workpackage 5: implementation and testing (and other technical support work). This will run in parallel with and in support of workpackage 4 and will involve testing the standard itself and the way it relates and maps to existing VP schemas, applications and models. It will also review the requirements identified in WP3 against the developed standard and developing implementer needs.

GANTT layout of workpackages:

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