On Monday 11th March 2013, DISCIPULUS was delighted to welcome Dr. Chris Martin, at the UCL campus for an interview for the DISCIPULS video documentary.
As part of our deliverable commitments, the DISCIPULUS video production is now underway. Dr. Chris Martin was the first to be interviewed and provided an insight into the challenges currently facing clinicians in diagnosing and providing the best care for their patients. Dr. Martin advocates the Digital Patient project as an important cause and necessary step in offering better patient care in the future.
He stated that there were many levels of benefits that he would expect from the Digital Patient as clinician. He states: “I could have greater confidence, when I have a number of treatment choices to make, that I would be choosing an optimal one for a patient.” Furthermore, with the patient present and where a shared decision making process about treatment choices would be at the heart of the consultation, he sees the Digital Patient play an important role in the an analysis of a particular circumstance involving a particular patient. Dr. Martin expressed that he would expect the Digitial Patient to help optimise the outcomes from the perspective of the doctor. He stated: “It might also increase confidence that the choices that are made will better match the patient’s perspective. What I see as the most positive outcomes are not necessarily what the patient sees as the most positive outcomes. And, the digital patient can act as a tool to support that shared decision making process.”
When asked about the potential uses of the 3D representation of the Digitial Patient, Dr. Martin highlighted that it would greatly facilitate communication with patients about their specific disease, as it can visualise the problem for them. He stated: “If you have a 3D virtual image of a patient, and help visualise a structural problem for them…There may be …. [a] role in terms of communication risk by forwarding projection 3D representations. So, for example, with risk factors for atherosclerotic diseases like smoking, obesity it may be possible to forward project a 3-dimensional image of that patient’s coronary arteries. Illustrating the formation of atheroma under different conditions with them smoking and with them not smoking, for example.”
Dr. Martin also highlighted that one of the main hurdles in realising the Digital Patient, and as identified by the DISCIPULUS project, would be to acquire relevant data and to safeguard the quality of that data, and stated the importance of “having standardised common understanding of what the data represents.” He also pointed out that the roadmap had identified the relevance and necessity of collaboration across the scientific and technological community. He stated: “There will need to be models form a variety of disciplines: clinical, physiological, engineering, fluid mechanics. And all of these different disciplines need to be able to find some common standardised understanding on how they will fit and work together.”
With the conclusion of the first interview for the DSICIPULUS video, the preparation for further interviews with the DISCIPULS community are well underway. The next stop will be the University of Sheffield and interviewing team members working on work packages 3 and 4.