Medical education has come a long way over the years. From advances in technology to rapid advancements in medical sciences to the emergence of new pedagogical approaches, today’s student doctors have plenty of tools to leverage. Staying current is imperative to practice modern medicine.
Here are a few ways modern technology can revolutionise medical education:
More Access with Telehealth
Telehealth has become an essential tool in the medical field, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has made healthcare services more accessible and affordable, especially for chronic diseases and age-related illnesses and for those who live in remote areas or have difficulty travelling. Patients can reach their doctors and healthcare providers remotely, with as little as an internet connection and a mobile device. Although the current medical curriculum does not incorporate it as extensively as it needs to, the rising adoption of telehealth makes its inclusion in the medical curriculum more critical than ever.
The scenarios may not be the same as a doctor’s exam in the physical world. Doctors need to know what to ask for and what to look for when dealing with patients over a mobile device. Diagnostic and treatment protocols will have to be modified to suit a virtual patient, and doctors may have to explore new avenues of gleaning information from patients. Student doctors need to be provided with the right training to leverage this powerful tool.
Collaborative, Continuing Learning
E-learning has revolutionized medical education, and now, aspiring medical professionals are no longer limited to the traditional instruction in a four-walled room. Today, we have an abundance of online resources that include online courses, video lectures, and virtual simulators, which are accessible 24*7 from any place in the world. This allows for content standardization, flexibility, and interactivity, all of which encourage more active learning. It is good for student doctors to normalise e-learning; since medical learning is a lifelong process, e-learning will not be a passing fad. It will invariably impact how medical professionals learn throughout their careers.
Medical professionals can stay updated on the latest medical knowledge anywhere and anytime through mobile-based Continuing Medical Education (CME) solutions. It consists of educational activities which maintain, develop, or increase the skills and professional performance and relationships of a physician. Adopting and internalising such continuous learning, using the latest technology platforms, will create generations of medical professionals to whom learning is second nature.
Artificial Intelligence-Assisted Medicine
Far before it became a fad, Artificial Intelligence (AI) had become an integral part of the medical field, with the ability to improve the speed and accuracy of diagnoses and treatment. AI algorithms can predict diseases and their progression, identify patterns and anomalies, and analyze complex medical data. With AI, doctors can make informed decisions about a patient’s condition and prescribe personalized treatment plans.
AI will transform medicine, from imaging and diagnosis to data-driven forecasting and research. AI-based virtual laboratories and wearable technologies are becoming popular for hands-on medical training and diagnosis. AI will be a medical breakthrough. Future physicians must know how to maximize this. To equip physicians to employ AI, medical schools and training programs must include it.
Simulation-based learning driven by the Metaverse
With new and priceless chances for extremely immersive medical teaching, the immersive experiences of the Metaverse will soon change medical education. Through the use of realistic scenarios, simulation-based learning replicates real-world medical settings so that students may obtain practical experience in a secure setting. Low-fidelity simulations, like the use of straightforward mannequins to teach basic life support techniques and clinical skills like taking a patient’s blood pressure, can go all the way up to high-fidelity simulations, which feature intricate scenarios with fictitious patients and difficult surgical procedures.
By merging powerful pedagogical methodologies like problem-based learning and game-based learning, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can help aspiring medical professionals hone their trade in a risk-free way. Additionally, it will open the door for a highly captivating learning environment that replicates medical processes and offers enhanced tactile and haptic feedback.
The metaverse is positioned to support the growth of capabilities in patient care, medical knowledge, procedural training, interprofessional cooperation, diagnostic reasoning, and critical thinking in the near future.
The current reformative trends, if wisely incorporated into healthcare education, will establish a future-ready model of medical education. Student doctors would be best served by a hybrid learning model that builds on the advantages of conventional and digital paradigms and is careful about their caveats. Student doctors need to be provided with an interactive, learner-centric, interdisciplinary, competency-based, personalized, and adaptive learning environment. By embracing the latest trends and innovations, the medical curriculum can equip future doctors with the right skills to deliver the highest quality of patient care in a more globally interconnected setup.