OMARC - An Online Multimedia Application for the Assessment of Respiratory Conditions

Lay Summary 

OMARC is a multimedia application designed to support the training of health care providers for the identification of common lung sounds heard in a patient's thorax as part of a health assessment or through a sequence of auscultation sessions. The main goal of OMARC is to effectively help health-care students and professionals to become familiar with lung sounds that might be heard during the assessment of respiratory conditions.

OMARC was developed using an online platform to facilitate access to users in remote locations and is designed in a way that is easy to use and accessible to students and practitioners over the internet.

OMARC's unique contribution as an educational software tool is that it presents a narrative about normal and abnormal lung sounds using interactive multimedia and sample case studies designed by professional health-care providers and educators. Its interface consists of two distinct components: a sounds glossary and a rich multimedia interface which presents clinical case studies and provides access to lung sounds placed on a model of a human torso. OMARC's contents can be extended through the addition of sounds and case studies designed by health-care educators and professionals.

To validate OMARC and determine its efficacy in improving learning and capture user perceptions about it, we performed a pilot study with ten nursing students. Participants' performance was measured through an evaluation of their ability to identify several normal and abnormal sounds prior and after exposure to OMARC. The results of this pilot study indicate that participants are able to better identify different lung sounds after practising with OMARC. Furthermore, participants' opinions about OMARC were quite positive: users were likely to recommend the application to other persons in their field and found the application easy to use and helpful to better identify lung sounds.

The efficacy of OMARC is being constantly evaluated. If you or your organization are interested in evaluating OMARC's efficacy in training health-care professionals in your area, or if you are an expert or an educator interested in extending OMARC by adding case studies and sounds to share them with your audience and peers, you are invited to get in touch with the Principal Investigator, Dr. Oscar Meruvia Pastor, to obtain access to OMARC for evaluation and content development purposes.

Computer Science
School of Nursing
Thompson Rivers University
Memorial University Of Newfoundland
St. John's
Newfoundland and Labrador
Health Services
Industry Sectors 
Start date 
1 Jul 2010