How to use patient data? Opportunities and challenges: the ECG-flash case


Dr. Timo Kuusi, Director, Research and Development unit of Medical Education, University of Helsinki, Finland, provided the audience with an introduction to his presentation that included the problems associated with educating medical students. Simulated and virtual patients provide the learner the ability to overcome some of the obstacles associated with medical education (e.g. patient refusal) and gaming is another innovative resource.


Dr. Kuusi, as a cardiologist, understands the ECG is a “visit card” for each of his patients. Every physician needs to understand how to read an ECG in order to treat the multitude of elderly cardiac patients. The storage of patients’ ECGs is now digital and this presents some ethical issues. The presenter introduced the Flash ECG to the audience and demonstrated how to use the ECG screen with a novel interactive ruler. The Flash program (free ware) is available and supported by a published article by Dr. Kuusi. The audience was given links to use the ECG-flash case(s) in M-Educator and, a great attempt to have the audience interact with the online game was attempted. In closing, Dr. Kuusi reviewed how to teach clinical medicine as game-based medicine, virtual patient-based medicine and/or simulator-based medicine.


It is clear the ECG-flash case has great educational potential for healthcare professionals and students. It would be great to have a history of educational gaming in the introduction and some statistics or qualitative data to support the use of gaming in medical education and training. The ECG-flash case is an example of an online application that supports and enhances medical students’ learning. It is available to the learner anytime and anywhere. An innovative clinical teaching tool that is very useful for continuing medical education, as well. Dr. Kuusi suggested we could have “game-based learning” for clinical medicine.


A participant commended Dr. Kuusi for keeping real patient data confidential in educational gaming scenarios.

Why use real data? Have you ever tried using simulator data? Do you really need to use real patient ECG data?

Why did you choose Wikipedia as a link following the completion of the ECG game?