Tutorial Stage 2: Your first scenario - using the toolbar

  1. Run HOM as documented in the first tutorial. You should see a small box of buttons. Each one sets up HOM in a different way. The first ones are simpler, later ones are more complex. Select the first item, 'Student Carbohydrate Practical'. Note that all the setups here have full physiological modelling, but the variables you can actually view on screen are limited. In addition, many of the menu options and more advanced features are hidden in this mode.
  2. You will see the main window. At the top is the title bar, below this the menu bar, and just below you will see the toolbar. You can find out what a toolbar item does by 'hovering': move the mouse cursor onto an item and keep it still over the item for a second. You should see a few words describing that item. On certain items, you can also right-click (or menu-click, depending on your operating system) for a context-sensitive menu.
  3. Try clicking the button labelled 'Jason'. This brings up the patient information box. Here you can view and change the demographics - Jason's age, height, weight and sex. The values that you enter here modify the natural values of several of the Jason's internal variables (this will be discussed later in the Edit patient section). In addition, there may be the opportunity to select one of the pre-designed patients from the drop-down list.
  4. The second button is Jason's status. It starts off saying 'Well', indicating that Jason feels well. If something bad happens, this may change to 'Unwell', and you will see a message in the console at the bottom of the window telling you what is wrong, such as 'Jason feels drowsy'.
    If something really bad happens, Jason may become 'Unconscious'. Jason can't survive like that for very long, though, and unless you act quickly the button will turn red and show 'Dead'. But if this happens, don't cry, but read on to the reset button.
  5. Click on the status button. You should see a menu where you can alter Jason's behaviour when he is conscious. You can make him automatically decide when to eat and drink, sleep and wake, or start and stop exercising; or you could select 'Restrict all' which essentially straps Jason down helplessly to a lab bench.
  6. The time is displayed in the toolbar. Whenever the simulation starts, the current time (from your computer's clock) is used. As the simulation proceeds, time elapses and can be made to run faster than in real life.
  7. The play/pause button stops and starts the simulation. When the simulation is stopped, all other adjustments can be performed as normal, and you will usually see the results of any modifications when the simulation is restarted.
  8. You will see two 'rewind' buttons: the 'Reset whole simulation' button puts everything back as though you had restarted the program, and loads the default patient. The 'Reset variable values' button restores only the main model variables (leaving many environmental and physiological parameters unchanged). The latter kind of reset is very useful when experimenting with different parameters.
On to tutorial 3