Mac Series of Physiological and Medical Simulations

Producer: CHIME (Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education)

This interactive teaching course for use in physiology and pharmacology is a collaboration between the Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education (CHIME), University College London Medical School, UK, and the Health Sciences Centre, McMaster University, Canada. It contains 4 packages that allow students to learn about human circulation, respiration, body fluids and electrolytes, and pharmacokinetics through experiments using computer simulations. The accompanying manuals are available for download in Acrobat PDF format.


•           MacDope Software Package. MacDope demonstrates how drugs and their metabolites are distributed in the body as a function of time following administration. Students can monitor the levels of a drug in the blood, the amount protein-bound, in the gastro-intestinal tract, distributed outside the plasma, and excreted in the urine. Students can compare levels from a single dose with those obtained with multiple dosing. Patient characteristics may be altered, including size, weight, urinary pH, renal function, and liver function. A number of preset subjects simulating some common clinical prescribing problems are provided, and further subjects can be created by the user. MacDope allows up to 4 drugs to be administered simultaneously from a list of over 20 familiar drugs. MacDope is not programmed with data such as volume of distribution and half-life of drugs. Instead it generates this information by solving equations which combine the patient’s characteristics with descriptions of the drug’s features, including what metabolites occur, how they are produced, and their pharmaco-kinetic properties.



•           MacMan Software Package. MacMan provides a foundation to understanding the behaviour of the cardiovascular system through simulations exploring the mechanisms which regulate blood pressure and cardiac output. The model includes the effects of baroreceptors in the aorta and the carotid sinus, the brainstem vasomotor centre, the autonomic innervation of the heart, cardiac contractility, and smooth muscle tone in arterioles and veins. The MacMan model helps students understand questions such as why jugular venous pressure goes up in cardiogenic shock and down in haemorrhagic shock, and why it is that positive pressure ventilation causes profound circulatory disturbances.


•           MacPee Software Package. The interaction between the cardiovascular system, the kidneys, and electrolyte balance is so complex that it can be difficult for students to predict the effects of changes in one system on another. MacPee will help students to understand renal physiology, the regulation of salt and water balance, and long term effects on blood pressure. It does this by allowing students to perform many experiments (altering dietary sodium, renal perfusion, or levels of hormone excretion) some of which would not be possible on human subjects. They can also monitor the concentrations of a wide range of substances in many body compartments. The complex interactions between renin, vasopressin, and aldosterone can thus be elucidated. MacPee also allows medical students to analyse the changes in important clinical conditions (myocardial infarction, nephrotic syndrome, haemorrhage) and to monitor the effects of diuretic drugs or hormones, away from the practical complications of managing sick patients.


•           MacPuf Software Package. A superficial grasp of respiration is inadequate for anyone who plans to work in acute medicine. Management of shock, heart failure, hypoxia, breathlessness, use of blood gas measurements, and oxygen all require a quantitative familiarity with respiration. The MacPuf model is particularly useful for teaching. It allows students to follow in more detail than with a real patient, for example, the complicated consequences of a failure in the delivery of oxygen. The volumes of different compartments and their gas concentrations, the responsiveness of the respiratory system to different stimuli, and the measures of ventilatory function are all quantified in MacPuf, so that students can study when, where, and how changes occur. MacPuf provides 120 individual subject factors and physiological variables which can be manipulated and studied. Bag collection and rebreathing experiments can be modelled; and the effects of high altitude, anaemia, pulmonary emboli, and obstructive airways diseases are all easily demonstrated.


Year of production: 1995 Medium: Downloadable from website System requirements: Any IBM compatible computer Price: Free of charge subject to the terms and conditions of use, and registration Note: These programs were developed for use on PCs running DOS and EGA graphics, the original authors no longer work with CHIME and there are currently no plans to create Windows versions of the programs. The programs will work with Windows but there may be problems with the display on newer versions. The material is offered as it is, and no technical support is provided