Patient X Week Two Update

During the past week, Team Patient X has been working towards a decision about our end goal for the demo prototype and the direction which the chatbot will take.

We have taken onboard the feedback given to by Elsevier about what they felt were the strengths of our chatbot from the Hackathon as well as areas of concern. We wanted to achieve an initial vision of project before the Ideation Mentoring session with Elsevier so that we would be able to alter our direction with input from the advice and feedback we will receive. After much discussion, our team has reached a conclusion on the following objectives:

  • The User
    • For pre-clinical medical students transitioning into clinical years, so that they can build upon their theoretical base and become introduced to the practice of clinical reasoning and diagnostic skills.
    • For clinical students who have had inadequate exposure and practice certain cases which may be less commonly seen but are serious and life-threatening.
    • Clinical students who have the need to put their knowledge to practice and refine their diagnostic skills and clinical reasoning before becoming doctors.
  • The Problem
    • A large majority of medical students witness the essential decision making process needed to help patients, during their placements in hospital. However, few are given the autonomy as students to make their own decisions in terms of ordering investigations, deciding on a diagnosis and giving definitive treatment. This leaves medical students somewhat lacking in confidence when they are expected to somehow gain these skills overnight as soon as they graduate and are working as a doctor. Suddenly, they find themselves with a huge responsibility resting upon their shoulders and lives of patients in their hands.
  • Our Feature
    • We meet both the institutions’ and students’ needs for an adjusted safe environment for learners to practise and gain confidence in the key decision making process, while their knowledge is put to the test.
  • Who will validate it?
    • A small representative group of students and medical educators on behalf of their institution from different countries.
  • Main changes over the hackathon MVP?
    • Reinvention of the UI and the type of software being design. In order to make it more appealing and user friendly, it is going to be a chatbot based app rather than a mere chatbot integrated on a pre-stablished platform.
    • Reducing the amount of typing so that the chatbot experience is focused not on communication skills nor patient scenario simulation but on the diagnostic process and making the right decisions at the right time. (As practicing communicative skills is something that is already taught and practiced during our medical education.)
    • Integration of more multiple choice questions to enforce decision making and to facilitate the assessment of the progress and user’s adherence of the protocol.
  • What case are we going to use?
    • Almost every case is supported if adapted through the input platform to the institution’s requirements (each university will be provided with the tools to create its own set of cases according to their teaching methods and local guidelines). As an example, we plan to use a severe life-threatening condition not found in the everyday practice but a scenario that a doctor may be expected to tackle expertly in order to save the patient’s life. As students we also need to be well prepared to deal with these uncommon presentations of patients and the only way to truly achieve this capability is to take on the responsibility of a clinician treating a virtual patient from start to finish.

We look forward to hitting the ground running as our team starts the exciting creation of the patient case as well as the technological component of developing the chatbot. Please stay tuned and keep an eye out for these updates to come!