Paper 3 – Nov 2017

About paper 3

The paper is normally written on the same day as paper 2 and has a duration of 1 hour, with a maximum mark of 30, counting for 20% of the total subject grade. Every year, it is a based on a case study.

Paper 3 Case Study 2017

The topic of this year’s case study is Computer Science in medicine.

Here is a link to our definitions of the key terms at the end of the case study (link broken)

Practice questions

Thanks very much to our kind CompSci friends at TGS for compiling and sharing these possible practice questions. As always, please acknowledge their hard work if you use/copy these.

Q1 or Q2 type questions (usually 2 marks each):

Demonstrate an understanding of the computer science concepts fundamental to the system(s) in the case study (objective 1)

Demonstrate an understanding of how the system(s) in the case study work (objective 1)

  1. Explain the concept: robotic controlled surgery[2 marks]
  2. Explain the concept: augmented reality[2 marks]
  3. What is the difference between a DDSS and a CDSS? [2 marks]
  4. How does a sonogram work? [2 marks]
  5. Explain the concept: Diagnosis Decision Support System [2 marks]
  6. What is near field communication (NFC) and how is it used within telemedicine? [2 marks]
  7. What is an electronic health record? [2 marks]
  8. What is an inference engine? [2 marks]
  9. Explain the differences between MRI, CT scan and ultrasound? [2 marks]
  10. How is augmented reality imaging useful in terms of ultrasound? [2 marks]


Q3 type questions (usually up to 6 marks each):

Apply material from the course syllabus in the context of the case study (objective 2)

  1. How could society benefit from improvements in the use of wearable devices? [6 marks]
  2. How might a private health centre decide on a balance between costs of the medical personnel/computer system and health benefits? [6 marks]
  3. How might technological developments replace the requirement for health carers? [6 marks]
  4. How might technology be combined with human resources in order to obtain health services to those in remote areas? [6 marks]
  5. Explain how the use of a knowledge base in a hospital can improve the effectiveness of medical treatment [6 marks]
  6. How could electronic health records benefit hospitals? [6 marks]
  7. Explain how an ultrasound works and its potential uses [6 marks]
  8. Define the term (genomic) bioinformatics. [4 marks]
  9. Explain the difference between a DDSS and CDSS. [4 marks]
  10. Explain the effect of changing medical practices on the doctors working in the Tall Trees clinic. [4 marks]
  11. Give three examples of a health carer [3 marks]
  12. Which techniques might be used to increase the efficiency of inference engines [6 marks]
  13. Explain some of the advantages and disadvantages of diagnostic systems? [6 marks]


Q3 or Q4 type questions (usually either 6 or 12 marks each):

To mark these Q4 type questions, we use a special mark banding: Paper 3 Q4 markband

Explain how scenarios specified in the case study may be related to other similar local and global scenarios (objective 3)

Discuss the social impacts and ethical issues relevant to the case study (objective 3)

Explain technical issues relating to the case study (objective 3)

Evaluate information that may be gathered from local and global sources including field trips, interviews, primary and secondary research, invited guest speakers and online interviews (objective 3)

Evaluate, formulate or justify strategic solutions based on the synthesis of information from the case study itself, additional research and new stimulus material provided in the examination paper.

  1. Write a justification of why Tall Trees should be recommended to incorporate technology relating to the IoHT [12 marks]
  2. The EHC recognises having an eHealth system in Europe presents “obvious potential advantages for the individual, for researchers and also for health care planners, but there are some implications that need to be considered as well”. Discuss these implications [12 marks]
  3. Evaluate the use of computer systems instead of doctors. [12 marks]
  4. Evaluate the claim that computer systems may be able to completely replace diagnostic health carers. [12 marks]
  5. “Many governments are now looking to enforce compatible electronic health records (EHR) across all health services.” Discuss the ethical implications of this enforcement [12 Marks]
  6. Discuss the social implications that arise from the use of robotic controlled surgery [12 marks]
  7. Evaluate the social implications that arise from the use of electronic health records. [12 marks]
  8. Evaluate the social implications that arise from the use of telemedicine. [12 marks]


Challenge research

To fully answer this paper, you need to prove the examiner you’ve done research on the challenges posed in the scenario.

The 4 challenges are:

  1. The feasibility and consequences of developing a coherent EHR system;
  2. The effect of technological developments on health carers;
  3. Development and implication of bioinformatics for predictive diagnosis;
  4. Combining electronic and human resources to get health services to those in remote or underdeveloped areas.

Here is some of the co-operative research we’ve collated so far (updated 8 March 2017):

Research into the four paper 3 challenges