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Posts from the ‘Medical education’ Category

Synthetic Human Cadavers in Medical Education

It’s not so surprising that simulation will play an increasingly important part in medical education. I covered this topic in my recent The Guide to the Future of Medicine white paper as well. As a next step, here are some synthetic human cadavers which could make medical students forget about the formaldehyde exposure in anatomy labs and replace traditional techniques in education.

“It (the synthetic cadaver) has a heart that beats and blood flows. It has a liver that can make bile, so you can imagine, procedural-wise, this is profound,” Flynn explained.

SynDaver Labs also created the world’s most sophisticated synthetic human tissues and body parts, which means medical schools and laboratories can reduce or eliminate live animals, cadavers and human patients in clinical training and surgical simulation.

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6 Reasons Why I Wish I Was a Medical Student Now

When I was a medical student between 2003 and 2009, I studied from mostly old books, I didn’t have access to much e-learning materials or lectures from other medical schools; it was particularly hard to collaborate with fellow medical students worldwide in the early days.

Now, we are living extraordinary times and when I realized I wish I was a medical student these days, I thought I would share my reasons for that.

1) Social Media:

The networks I’ve been creating in my fields of interest on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and the blogosphere are capable of filtering the most relevant news for me; helping me crowdsource complicated clinical/scientific questions; or provide me with updates and news every single day. Practically, I have access to a global community including the key people in my area and I can ask them questions and collaborate with them without borders. Moreover, I could learn about these pretty easily.

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2) Studying Through Gamification:

I hated studying texts and data by heart without proper reasoning and logics behind that, but in many cases, that’s what the curriculum required from me. Instead, I prefer studying through serious diagnostic games such as the ones published by NerdCore Medical. I just received the Healing Blade card game that teaches infectious diseases; and the Occam’s Razor that is a real diagnostic card game.

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3) Improving Cognitive Skills:

For the last 3 weeks, I’ve been using Lumosity to improve my cognitive skills in many areas from flexibility and problem solving to memory and speed. The change has been incredible. I found out I can learn things faster and do multi-tasking even more efficiently by learning new methods and solutions.

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4) Gathering Information:

It has never been so easy to gather the information you need in an automatic way. I’m subscribed to over 400 medical RSS feeds and check news on Feedly, PeRSSonalized Medicine keeps my up-to-date, I have automatic Google Alerts for different search queries from my name to my field of interest; I get papers from Pubmed by e-mail; my citations are automatically sent to me by Google Scholar and I could go on for hours how much relevant information I receive every day without spending time and efforts on websites.

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5) Organizing Tasks in the Cloud:

For the last 4 years, a detailed and color coded Google Document has been helping me organize my tasks, projects, papers, publications and presentations in a perfectly precise way. I don’t have to take notes on paper or on different smartphones, but everything related to my work is in one document stored in the cloud.

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6) Using Gadgets:

I use a Shine to track my physical activities, I use AliveCor for measuring ECG and there are more and more medical gadgets on the way which will play a major role in the near future of healthcare. I would have a chance now to learn how to use them because by the time I should start practicing medicine and patients would bring their data through these, it would be late.

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I hope today’s medical students realize these potentials and leverage their power.

 

Introducing the #HCSMcourse Twitter Hashtag!

My mission is to bring digital knowledge to medical students therefore preparing them for the world full of digital technologies that is coming. This is why I launched the world’s first university course focusing on social media and mobile health for medical students in 2008. Here are a few ways how I try to teach them:

  • There is a real credit course at Semmelweis Medical School where I have courses in English and in Hungarian. I try to teach them digital literacy through spectacular and engaging presentations.
  • They can answer questions about the topics covered in the lectures on Facebook to gather bonus points for the exam.
  • There is an e-learning platform so then any medical student or professional worldwide can access the materials and take the tests for the certification.
  • Students get credits for creating medical blogs, Twitter profiles or Wikipedia entries.

As you can see, following the “If you want to teach me, you first have to reach me” approach, I do everything I can to get the message across: every medical professional will be affected by online medical communication.

The Social MEDia Course

The Social MEDia Course

This is why I was very glad when Symplur contacted me about a potential collaboration. Let’s create a new hashtag #HCSMcourse referring to the widely used healthcare social media (#HCSM) hashtag. This new hashtag would focus on two goals:

  1. To collect all materials, concepts and ideas about teaching social media in medical education.
  2. To give students a chance to belong to a global community even after graduating from medical school.

As Twitter is my main communication channel these days, I cannot wait to exploit this idea in even more details.

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My Master Class at Medicine X of Stanford: Teaching Social Media in the Health Sciences

It’s an honor to be invited to do a master class at the upcoming Medicine X conference taking place at Stanford University.  I will conduct a 90-minute Master Class on teaching social media in the health sciences. The master class tentatively includes:

  • Strategies to create a curriculum for teaching students and medical professionals about disruptive technologies and social media.
  • Introducing online learning platforms as part of an official course curriculum.
  • Determining which online platform is most used by students and creating a parallel online curriculum.
  • Incorporating interactive content to leverage the power of social media in the classroom.

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It’s going to be fun! See you there!

 

Medicine Must Get Social: InformationWeek Features My Book and Course

David F. Carr at InformationWeek asked me for an interview and he had great questions about my social media activities as a doctor, the book I wrote, my new position as a medical futurist and the course I teach at the medical school and online.

Here is the interview, Medicine Must Get Social, and an excerpt:

That’s what Bertalan Mesko aims to do with The Social MEDia Course, a series of online tutorials, as well as his book Social Media in Clinical Practice, published in August. As he argues in the book, “The only way to fight against pseudoscience and medical quackery is to take control of publishing medical information on the Web.” Doctors need to be on social media to develop and protect their own reputations, as well as to understand the resources available and how they can be used or misused, he says. His book catalogs many types of social media and gives specific advice, such as a recommendation to turn down patient “friend” requests on Facebook unless that social profile is used solely for professional rather than personal interaction.

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The “Social Media in Medicine” Course At Semmelweis University Launches!

I’m always very excited when the new semester of the Social Media in Medicine university course launches at Semmelweis University. I’ll today introduce medical students to the world of social media by showing them a lot of practical examples; as well as to the world full of technological advances they will face when they leave medical school.

10 weeks, 16 extended topics, two surveys, one exam, and a lot of Facebook challenges.

This course is still unique worldwide and I created a digital format as well so not only medical students at Semmelweis University can acquire such digital skills.

Here is the timeline:

  1. September 17. Introduction to social media and medicine
  2. September 24. Medical search engines and the Google story
  3. October 1. Information pollution and reforming modern education
  4. October 8. The mysteries of medical blogging
  5. October 15. Crowdsourcing on Twitter from a doctor’s perspective
  6. October 29. Medical communities, Youtube and medical mobile apps
  7. November 5. The era of e-patients and managing a medical practice online
  8. November 12. Wikipedia: the power of communities
  9. November 19. Virtual worlds; Written test exam
  10. November 26. The future of medicine and the Internet, Results of the surveys

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Google Glass Keeps On Rocking Healthcare: But For How Long?

Since the launch of Google Glass, I’ve been closely following updates and developments related to healthcare and medicine. It seems clinicians worldwide can leverage its potentials but there is a long way to go to reach wide clinical adoption. A few concepts have to be taken into consideration:

  • Healthcare institutions should be open to experimenting with it (and determine privacy and legal issues). Test drives such as the one in Hartford Hospital are needed.
  • Medical professionals should deal with patient privacy and put evidence behind using it in practice.
  • Patients should be clearly informed if Glass is used in their care.
  • Moreover, start-ups focusing on Google Glass and medicine should be able to join accelerators and incubators. Fortunately, this step has been taken as Palomar Health and Qualcomm Life teamed up to build an incubator for developers called Glassomics.
  • All the stakeholders should watch the sporadic examples (see the links in this post).

Here are 3 examples how Google Glass could be used in medicine and healtchare:

1) It could be used in emergency situations. While you are performing CPR, it could call the ambulance to your GPS location.

 

2) The Radboud REshape & Innovation Center launched a Flickr group so they can share the photos they take while experimenting with Glass in the OR.

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3) Stanford medical doctor, Abraham Verghese, started using it because he can now make videos about patient examination for his medical students.

Glass has many a potential use in education, of course, although there’s going to be a number of concerns about its privacy implications when it comes to sensitive information like a real-world patient’s medical data.

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