Cardiovascular modelling and the Intensive Care Unit clinician
Critically ill patients are highly variable in their response to care and treatment. This variability and the search for improved outcomes have led to a significant rise in the use of protocolised care to reduce variability in care. However, protocolised care does not address the variability in outcome due to inter- and intra- patient variability. This lack of patient-specificity defines the opportunity for patientspecific approaches to diagnosis, care and patient-management that are complementary to, and fit within, protocolised approaches. Computational models of human physiology offer the potential, with clinical data, to create patientspecific models that capture a patient’s physiological status. Such models can provide new insights into patient condition by turning a series of sometimes confusing clinical data into a clear physiological picture. More directly, they can track patient-specific condition and thus provide new means of diagnosis and opportunities for optimising therapy. This article presents the concept of model-based therapeutics and the use of computational models in cardiovascular critical care in specific. This concept is illustrated by means of examples in monitoring disease states and defining new clinically relevant metrics.