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View Full Version : Help with finding out how to make interactive medical case studies



cob72
09-01-2013, 02:52 AM
Hi,

I am hoping that someone may be able to help me. I am a medical educator who teaches a distance education course and I was wanting to get a bit more tech savvy and include interactive case studies to help my participants integrate some of the factual knowledge into case-based scenarios to help memory retention etc. The New England Journal of Medicine usues the type of thing I am looking for (though I admit they've probably got a whole team of people and a huge budget). See http://www.nejm.org/multimedia/interactive-medical-case

When you click on the case it doesn't just show a video, but brings up the case scenario in a separate window. You can then click through to each page and answer a series of questions based on how the case presents or the medical data you are given (like a quiz, I guess). Depending on your answer you are then given more information with regards to whether you have the answer correct or not, and then supplied extra information to explain why your answer might be correct or incorrect.

I was wondering if anyone would know what software they would be using to develop these cases (Flash?), or if anyone would know how a similar effect could be achieved using other programs that could be integrated into a web-based format?

Thanks again, and please pardon my ignorance.

C

TattooedMac
09-01-2013, 03:03 AM
Hey all just sent Cob over from the Aussie forum as there is more of a knowledge base here, so im hoping some peoples could help him out.

@Cob just remember the time difference between us and the rest of the world and yes Van i know how the TimeLine goes :P In the us east coast its 2am and west coast its 11pm yesterday.

Someone WILL come along and help though and ill keep bumping this until the right people see it :)

Cheers

cob72
09-01-2013, 04:09 AM
Thanks mate.

TattooedMac
09-01-2013, 08:52 PM
Well i can tell you one thing Cob and its not Flash that makes this, as i have Flash disabled on my Mac and i can see everything that is shown.

Someone out there that has worked with Web Pages would have some idea ??

Anyone ??

cob72
09-02-2013, 03:44 AM
@Tattooed Mac - Thanks, that's useful information.

TattooedMac
09-02-2013, 04:35 AM
No worries Cob, i have just sent out a couple of PM's so hopefully someone will help. Im just worried it keeps getting pushed down without the right eyes seeing it :)
Im trying

vansmith
09-02-2013, 10:03 AM
Well i can tell you one thing Cob and its not Flash that makes this, as i have Flash disabled on my Mac and i can see everything that is shown.Au contraire TM. You might want to check your Flash blocker since it is very much powered by Flash.

cob72, designing something like this in Flash is going to cost you a fair amount of money (just to get the authoring tools) and more importantly time. You could code this by hand which would be cheaper but would take just as long (if not longer) to make. What kinds of resources and/or knowledge do you have?

Raz0rEdge
09-02-2013, 12:21 PM
Creating these sorts of interactive sites can be done with a few technologies, Flash, HTML5 and AJAX to name a few..

AJAX is going to involve the most amount of effort (coding wise) and also require a server to constantly be available to perform the interactive side of things. HTML5 would allow for a good amount of interaction, but also requires a bit of coding.

Flash is going to give you the flexibility of creating a standalone interactive thing that can be embedded in any website or even run off-line through the Flash Player..

The downside of going the Flash route, as Vansmith eluded, is the cost of acquiring the necessary Adobe Flash tools to create what you want and the cost of getting the knowledge to make it all work.

The interactive part of Flash, i.e., prompting for answers and changing behavior based on things, is driven by the coding language embedded in it called ActionScript. ActionScript is a lightweight scripting language similar to JavaScript, so it is fairly easy to pick up.

There are numerous tutorials (even video ones on YouTube) that you might want to peruse to see if it's something you can pick up and get going.

Alternately, you can pursue hiring a Flash developer to get you started with a couple of case studies and you can learn how to create more based on what he/she does and if you can learn a bit of a Flash/ActionScript yourself..

RadDave
09-02-2013, 12:50 PM
Hi Cob - I'm a retired academic radiologist (Wake Forest University) and teaching options have really evolved in my decades in the field - most of my lectures where done in PowerPoint and I was just getting into 'animation' & 'movies' when I retired in 2011.

You've received some excellent advice, as expected; but just a comment - I was able to view the first case on the NEJM website on my MBP; however, many medical students and medical professionals are using iPads for patient, learning, and teaching purposes - as you likely know the 'stock' iPad does not do FLASH, so just a consideration. Good luck and look forward to your progress - Dave :)

vansmith
09-02-2013, 01:05 PM
The downside of going the Flash route, as Vansmith eluded, is the cost of acquiring the necessary Adobe Flash tools to create what you want and the cost of getting the knowledge to make it all work. [...] Alternately, you can pursue hiring a Flash developer to get you started with a couple of case studies and you can learn how to create more based on what he/she does and if you can learn a bit of a Flash/ActionScript yourself..Going with Flex as a method of producing Flash content may also be a way to avoid some of the issues mentioned by Raz0r here. The Flex development kit is free but you'd have to be comfortable with the nitty gritty of command line development. So, it's probably not the best option but it is free and will let you do Flash content


You've received some excellent advice, as expected; but just a comment - I was able to view the first case on the NEJM website on my MBP; however, many medical students and medical professionals are using iPads for patient, learning, and teaching purposes - as you likely know the 'stock' iPad does not do FLASH, so just a consideration. Good luck and look forward to your progress - Dave :)Good point. If you're looking to target mobile users, then there may be some specific options that are both mobile and desktop friendly.

TattooedMac
09-02-2013, 08:21 PM
Au contraire TM. You might want to check your Flash blocker since it is very much powered by Flash.

My bad . . . . Yes i did have it on, from trying some fault finding on the weekend, but at the end of the day, im glad you found this place to help out my friend :)

cob72
09-02-2013, 11:18 PM
I have done some basic "Flash"ing (!!) in the past (back when it was with Macromedia) so I have a bit of an idea. I'll have a chat to the bean counters of the CPD organisation that I consult for to see if they will shell out for a more experienced person to help me get up and running, but I'll also look into mobile device-enabled options.

Thanks to you all for the awesome advice.

Cheers,
COB