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Incorporating New Technology in Healthcare Education

February 19, 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic was considered a factor that expedited the progress of several industries toward the future, where such industries were forced to innovate and find alternatives to continue their operations in the midst of several restrictions brought by the worldwide quarantine.

It undoubtedly brought about a tremendous change in many aspects of our lives, including the delivery of medical education, the provision of accurate health information, and the delivery of healthcare itself, where the internet played a crucial role.

In this article, we will explore the various technologies that are being used in the education of health professionals and discuss the benefits of incorporating these new technologies. We will also provide some practical tips on how to effectively integrate technology into health professions education.

Is the Use of Technology in Healthcare Education Here to Stay?

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of technology in healthcare education has not only become prevalent but also indispensable. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of various technological tools and platforms in healthcare education, and it's likely here to stay.

This "new normal" in healthcare education, catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, has firmly established the use of technology as a cornerstone of learning and training for better patient care. Its continued integration is poised to enhance the accessibility, effectiveness, and adaptability of healthcare education, ensuring that it remains an enduring feature of the educational landscape.


Examples of Technologies Used in the Education of Health Professionals

The education of health professionals has been greatly enhanced by the integration of various technologies. These advancements have revolutionized the learning experience for students and practitioners, offering innovative ways to acquire knowledge and skills. Here are some notable examples of technologies used in healthcare education:

A list summarizing the examples of technologies used in the education of health professionals.

Online Distance Learning

Online distance learning, or the delivery of online courses, has gained popularity in recent years, allowing students to access educational materials and interact with instructors and peers from the comfort of their own homes.

This may be facilitated by video conferencing and webinar platforms that enable live lectures, interactive discussions, and guest presentations, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among students and educators. It may also be accessed through LMS platforms that provide a centralized hub for course materials, lectures, assessments, and collaborative tools, offering a structured approach to delivering educational content.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (VR)

Virtual and augmented reality have revolutionized the way we teach and learn in the healthcare field. These technologies provide students with immersive experiences through medical simulations that mimic real-world scenarios. These technologies may be used to replicate medical scenarios, enabling students to practice clinical skills such as resuscitation, intubation, and surgical procedures. This then enables medical students to perform virtual surgeries and practice complex procedures in a risk-free environment where they can practice on virtual patients who won't be harmed when they commit a mistake.

Wearable Technology

Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, can be used to monitor vital signs, activity levels, and other health metrics, providing students with firsthand experience in utilizing health monitoring tools. These devices allow students to gain real-time feedback and make informed decisions. This technology also promotes a more active and engaged learning experience, as students can see the immediate impact of their actions.

Mobile and Portable Technology

Mobile and portable technology, such as tablets and smartphones, have transformed the way we access and share information. In the healthcare education setting, these devices can be used to access electronic textbooks, medical apps, and educational videos. They also enable students to collaborate with their peers and instructors in real time, regardless of their location.

Computer-Assisted Learning

Computer-assisted learning (CAL) refers to the use of computer technology to aid in the delivery of educational materials and facilitate learning. Within the realm of healthcare education, CAL encompasses the utilization of various interactive technologies to engage students and promote active learning. One prominent example of CAL in the context of active learning is the use of "clickers" or other interactive technologies.


Benefits of Using New Technologies for Educating Allied Health and Medical Students

The integration of new technologies in the education of allied health and medical students offers a wide array of benefits, revolutionizing the learning experience and preparing students for the dynamic healthcare landscape. Some of the positive effects that such practice may bring include:

Improvements in the Facilitation of Learning and Learner Feedback

Technology allows educators to deliver content in a variety of formats, making it more engaging and accessible for students. Interactive videos, online quizzes, and virtual simulations provide opportunities for active learning and immediate feedback. Similarly, data analytics and artificial intelligence can also be employed to analyze large datasets, identify patterns in patient care, and facilitate personalized learning experiences for students based on their individual progress and needs.

Better and More Accurate Visualization of the Clinical Setting

Technologies such as virtual and augmented reality provide students with a realistic and immersive experience of the clinical setting. This enables them to visualize complex medical procedures and scenarios in a way that traditional textbooks and lectures cannot. As a result, students develop a more comprehensive understanding of the healthcare environment and gain valuable practical skills.

Elimination of Human Patient Risk Due to Learner Error

By using technology to simulate patient interactions and procedures, students can practice their skills without putting real patients at risk. This not only ensures patient safety but also allows students to learn from their mistakes and improve their performance. As a result, healthcare professionals enter the workforce with a higher level of competence and confidence.

Repeatable Scenarios Enable Replicability or Alterations in Practice

Technology allows educators to create repeatable scenarios that can be replicated or altered to meet the specific needs of the learners. This flexibility enables students to practice different approaches and techniques, enhancing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It also prepares them for the ever-evolving nature of the healthcare field, where adaptability is crucial.

Personalization of Learning Experience

One of the greatest advantages of incorporating technology in healthcare education is the ability to personalize the learning experience for each student. With the use of adaptive learning platforms and intelligent tutoring systems, educators can tailor the content and pace of instruction to match the individual needs and preferences of the learner. This not only increases student engagement but also improves learning outcomes.

Tips to Incorporate New Technology in Health Professional Education

Integrating new technology into health professional education can be a transformative endeavour, enhancing the learning experience and preparing students for the modern healthcare landscape. Here are some best practices and tips for effectively incorporating new technology into health professional education:

A list summarizing the tips to incorporate new technology in health professional education.

Prepare the Curriculum for Seamless Integration of New Technology

Before introducing new technologies, it is important to evaluate the existing curriculum and identify areas where technology can enhance the learning experience. This may involve redesigning lessons, creating new learning activities, or integrating technology-based assessments. By aligning the curriculum with the capabilities of the technology, educators can ensure a seamless integration and maximize its impact.

Prepare and Increase the Teachers' and Students' Competence in Using the Technologies Effectively

It is essential to provide adequate training and support for both teachers and students to ensure they are competent in using the new technologies effectively. This may involve professional development workshops, online tutorials, or peer mentoring programs. Educators should also create a supportive environment that encourages experimentation and risk-taking, as the effective use of technology often requires trial and error.

Evaluate the Results of Technology Use in Learning for Continuous Improvement

Regular evaluation of the impact of technology on learning outcomes is crucial for continuous improvement. This can be done through student surveys, classroom observations, and analysis of student performance data. By collecting feedback from both students and educators, adjustments can be made to optimize the use of technology and address any potential challenges or barriers.

Encourage the Development of Open Education Repositories

Open education repositories provide a platform for educators to share and access high-quality educational resources. By encouraging the development of open education repositories in the healthcare field, educators can collaborate and learn from each other's experiences.

This not only promotes innovation but also ensures the availability of up-to-date and relevant content for all learners and practicing clinicians while also helping educators redirect their energy to focusing on teaching students instead of creating new learning materials from scratch.

Guide your students throughout their healthcare career journey by partnering with Caring Support.

Caring Support: Helping Academic Institutions Develop Well-Rounded Healthcare Providers

The use of technology in facilitating student learning is here to stay, and it's time for academic institutions to effectively incorporate it in developing the students' medical knowledge and clinical skills. By embracing these advancements, educators can create a more engaging, personalized, and effective learning experience for health professionals.

Through careful planning, preparation, and evaluation, post-secondary institutions can ensure that technology continues to enhance the education of allied health and medical students, ultimately improving patient outcomes through the delivery of efficient and high-quality care.

At Caring Support, we're committed to helping improve the delivery of medical services in Canada by helping schools develop well-rounded students who will be future healthcare providers. Our innovative platform helps schools connect with and supervise their students throughout their career progression. We also help provide the needed tools and courses to be successful in their career.

Experience the benefits of Caring Support by partnering with us today.

About The Author
Cam Adajar
Content Writer

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