Wednesday, 17 June 2015

eCardioConsult: Virtual veterinary cardiology patients

Advances in technology are leading to new and innovative approaches to clinical teaching and learning. Compared with passive methods of learning, an interactive case-based approach promotes development of clinical decision-making skills and is a challenging and fun way to learn. Although interactive digital patient programs are technically difficult to produce, the ‘virtual’ format provides an interactive environment where it is safe to make mistakes!

The case of the breathless dog
The RVC has developed an interactive online learning platform in which the user navigates through clinical cardiology scenarios. This provides vets and veterinary students with a simulated experience in treating cardiac small animal patients. Each virtual patient follows a case through presentation, history and physical examination, problem list and differentials, diagnostic tests, treatment and follow up. If users select the wrong management option, the patient may die. 

At vital stages of the case a veterinary ‘expert’ appears and at the end of the case the expert also provides a walkthrough of how to manage the case. The first virtual patient is now used by all third year RVC students as part of their cardiovascular teaching. In addition the case has been made available to veterinarians and has already been translated into 4 different languages.

The first case is available at

If you are using a mobile device a Flash browser such as Photon or Puffin is required.

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