Explanatory models in acute care

Acute care providers face many challenges when making a diagnosis and deciding on therapeutic interventions on their fragile patients. Understanding and explanation based on causal chains of events have limitations when applied to complex physiological systems. The speaker and neonatologist Timothy Antonius recently introduced a new concept and educational technology with the goal of facilitating reasoning and communication in the clinical environment: Explanatory models in acute care. The concept will be discussed, and companion software demonstrated. We will jointly explore further development of explanatory models and their promise as mental models for clinical practice in intensive care and beyond.


Van Meurs WL, Antonius TAJ: Explanatory models in neonatal intensive care: A tutorial, Adv Simul 2018 Dec. 20, 3:27:1-7, https://doi.org/10.1186/s41077-018-0085-2 (open access publication including free software).



Willem van Meurs, PhD in control engineering, Toulouse, France, 1991, grew up in a medical family in the Netherlands. He has a lot of respect for acute care physicians making critical decisions about interventions on fragile patients in complex conditions in seconds or minutes. At the Universities of Florida and Porto he built tools on which doctors can train without anyone getting hurt when they make a mistake. Over 7000 of his training simulators are in use worldwide. He is the author of Modeling and simulation in biomedical engineering, McGraw-Hill, 2011. Dr. van Meurs is currently a consultant to the Australian National University working on space medicine and space physiology and an invited researcher in the Cardiovascular and respiratory physiology group of the University of Twente, The Netherlands.



Date & time

1–2pm 14 Nov 2019


Room:Seminar Room 1.33


Willem van Meurs

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