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Using Virtual Education Apps To Improve Healthcare Education
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There are a number of apps available in assisting medical education helping students in learning simpler things like measuring blood pressure and extremely complicated procedures like details of cardiac pressure-volume loops. Then, a number of apps help in teaching procedural skills as well. However, few apps are attempting to step further by attempting to corroborate themselves as an influential tool for improving actual procedural skills.
One such medical education app is capable of teaching fiberoptic intubation skills. It takes assistance from the accelerometer app present in iPads for teaching actual motions. The aim behind this is to improve the dexterity, when doctors are doing such procedures in actual lives. Users can navigate through the 3-Dimensional virtual airway on the screen by twisting and turning their iPads in different directions. This app has several variations in anatomy to mix things up. Experts of the medical world named this app as the most innovative app last year. Let us see how this app achieved such acclamation soon after its release. Around 20 senior medical students who had no experience whatsoever of endoscopy were divided into two groups. The first group received a lecture on techniques of intubation and another group underwent a 30-minute training session from this intubation app. Then, individuals from both groups were tested on a simulation mannequin and were directed to perform ten different intubations. The primary outcome was the time taken to view the Carina and participants were also examined for their technique in a blind observation evaluation. Let us now study the result of this assessment.
It was observed that the group that received theoretical training emerge as unsuccessful in more attempts. On the other hand, the group that received virtual training through this medical education app showed signs of significant improvements in their global assessments. The entire group successfully achieved the minimum time target "25 seconds" given for Carina visualization. However, the time taken for the entire intubation process was recorded lesser by the group that took theoretical information.
This was the kind of puzzling situation for everyone engaged in testing this medical education app. Regardless of this, the conclusion was that the introduction of such medical education mobile apps could help a lot in improving the quality of medical education imparted at our medical colleges. This outcome is enough to reveal that these apps can help a lot in giving students more practical knowledge of the procedures than just theoretical knowledge. However, just like its counterparts, these educational apps also come with few stipulations.
The biggest is the difference between testing it on mannequins and using them on human bodies. According to experts, it would be interesting to see the same trend with resident anaesthesia doctors or anaesthesia doctors performing rotational duties.
Another stipulation with these medical education mobile apps is that this is a new technique. Experts feel that such apps would not work successfully with procedures that depend on fine motor skills like surgery, cardiac catherization and a few others.
However, if a medical education mobile app can bestow even a slight improvement in the intubation performance by the trainees, it means it could have a number of insinuations for patient care as well. These apps also signify that skills that require few manipulations in an instrument that go unnoticed by the user based on images that appear on the screen may also be acquiescent with this approach.
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