“Technology can become the ‘wings’ that will allow the educational world to fly farther and faster than ever before – if we will allow it” ~ Educator, Jenny Arledge, (NWI, 2015)
Technology & Health Care Education
Modern medical technologies have had a massive impact on our nation’s approach to health care from standard services (e.g. check-ups, operations, etc.) and research to academics. This is especially interesting when you consider the way that we create 21st century curriculum’s and equipment to educate and develop the next generation of medical professionals.
At the University of South Florida’s beautiful, new Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation a.k.a. CAMLS, residents are now able to step outside of the traditional textbook and gain some practical, hands-on experience through virtually designed environments. This opens up opportunities for trainees to prepare for a variety of real-world medical procedures and emergencies. Specifically, “The multiple high fidelity and virtual reality simulators enable the honing of surgical skills including endoscopic, laparoscopic and interventional vascular, urologic, and gynecologic procedures” (CAMLS Sim-Center, 2016).
This trend towards the application of technology to supplement training in academic medicine isn’t limited to schools here in Florida. In fact, in an article released by US News it was reported that, “Some 86 out of 90 medical schools and all 64 teaching hospitals that responded to a 2011 survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges reported that they now use simulation to train medical students,” (US News, 2013).
Medical Training with Modern Technology
But sophisticated simulators are really just the tip of iceberg when it comes to the potential for digital applications and tech. tools to re-shape the way that we teach and train. Such progress is paramount for the millions of much-needed doctors, nurses, medical specialists and the invaluable assistants who will care for us in the future. That’s why today’s talented medical students and residents are sharpening their skills with some of the best teaching technologies to supplement their academic and resident training.
“As modern medicine advances, so does the way medical students learn to practice medicine. […] AAMC notes some of the educational technology benefits include safe, controlled environments to eliminate risks to patients, documentation of learner behavior and outcomes, and standardization of instruction and assessment,” (MediaPlanet: Future of Health Care, 2016).
Virtual Technology for the Future
Digital applications and technological tools will continue to have an enormous effect on the way that we approach medical training and treatment, as we forge further ahead into the future. Both, AR and VR (e.g. augmented reality, virtual reality) in particular, have the potential to become immensely valuable because of their ability to personalize learning experiences for students and to measure their progress for educators. And if you have a hard time understanding the verbiage in your textbook, what better way to re-approach a problem, than by stepping into a virtual, game-like environment that allows you to see, hear, and interact with your lesson, more authentically than ever.
“Medical schools increasingly are developing and using educational games as part of the learning process. In a brief, Game-Based Learning in Medical Education, a group observed that serious games can help users build expertise through practice in medical decision making and problem solving,” (AAMC, 2014). Also, when considering the years that go by in the student to practitioner journey, it simply makes sense to keep students as up-to-date as possible with the most current information and resources.
Just imagine the benefit of a classroom in which the students are able to put on headsets that can virtually transport them all into settings that completely capture relevant, real-world learning experiences or events that they need. It may take a few terms to get there, but the end-results of implementing tech for teaching future students are worth the time and effort.
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