Look to the future: Virtual patients & e-learning in medical education

The 2nd International Conference on Virtual Patients & MedBiquitous Annual Conference is set to take place on April 26th to 28th in London, UK.

This exciting event gives teachers, learning technologists and students the chance to learn about teaching tools like virtual patients and simulations, and how we can use Web 2.0 tools effectively when teaching medical and healthcare students. A variety of session formats maximize learning while offering exposure to new ideas and active discussion.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the UK National Health Service (NHS) will give the key note address on supporting and innovating healthcare quality and safety.

Why virtual patients?

Reduced student-patient contact times in hospitals and increasing cost of technology means we need to create innovative methods that help students develop the necessary skills without compromising their quality of education.

e-Learning tools like virtual patients allow us to help students develop their clinical reasoning skills, without putting the patient at risk!

As Terry Poulton, Director of the e-Learning Unit at St George’s University of London says: “Some day virtual patients will do the same for medicine as flight simulations have done for aviation.”

Technical standards in medical education

Virtual patients and e-learning resources can be powerful tools for healthcare educators, but too often such resources are trapped in proprietary systems and unable to be shared with other educators.

That’s where standards come in. Technology standards allow resources to be shared across systems, allowing educators to leverage one another’s work. Technology standards are also key in finding the right content when and where you need it.

“Without standards, a cool e-learning resource at one institution is just a cool e-learning resource at one institution,” commented Valerie Smothers, Deputy Director of MedBiquitous. “Standards make it possible to scale that solution across the larger community of healthcare educators.”

Early bird registration is now available. Please visit www.medbiq.org/icvp for the full agenda and further information.

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