Information & Communication Technology in Health Education

Swine flu makes a comeback even before the winter has begun. Of course, most of us are aware about the precautions to stay away from the virus. We have to cover the face with a mask or keep hands clean, consume nutritional food and seek a doctor’s opinion immediately after we experience any symptom.

Let us imagine our state of being if this had happened15 years ago, where patient portals, healthcare provider forums, face book pages and all the online information was in its juvenile stage.  The swine flu death toll would have tripled the present number. Thanks to information and communication technology for educating the healthcare providers to understand the diseases and to educate the people about the precautions to stay away from the disease.

InfocusRx conceptualized, designed and developed a H1N1 awareness portal focusing on physician education for better patient care.  http://www.allabouth1n1flu.com/. The portal featured KOL, regular updates on H1N1 medications, treatments, Swineflu guide for patient educations, expert review from doctors and news updates specific to H1N1.

Information & Communication Technology is a glory for health education. It serves as a platform for all the health professionals to communicate with their colleagues, patients and keep them abreast with the latest happenings in medical and clinical advancements across the world. The different types of web technology tools are available to educate and communicate with the people.

Forms of web technology tools in health education
Tool Description Example
Blogs A Simple website providing brief opinions and information in the form of posts

http://thehealthcareblog.com

The Health Care Blog (compiled of current health trends and issues)

Wikis A webpage, which allows to edit, omit, or add information

https://en.wikipedia.org
http://www.webicina.com/public-health/public-health-wikis

Public Health Wikis (9)

Social networking

A webpage to

connect users and communication

https://www.facebook.com/
Video sharing A webpage, which is made for video files to be uploaded for public or private users

TED Talks in the Health topics

Health promotion webinars

Digital libraries Online library which contains vast resources that is made available in digital format.                             –
E-learning A webpage that keeps you up-to-date with the latest developments and provides retraining about the newest technologies.

                             –

ICT in health education for health care professionals/frontline health workers

Information and communication technology (ICT) tools such as e-learning, m-learning, science apps, evidence-based medicine, readymade power point presentation and Wikipedia are effective in improving knowledge and skills in health care professionals. A number of ICT’s such as mobile devices, computers, internet, and optical discs are used to in education and training of primary health care professionals.

E-learning

E-learning platforms include bulletin boards, websites, and video conferencing. E-learning is one of the areas identified by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DietY), India. The goal is to impart literacy through distance education to frontline health workers using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Tools (Computers, Multimedia and the Web). E-learning can be used to educate and train primary healthcare workers at primary healthcare centres or community healthcare centres.

Seminars & workshops

Indian Medical Academy conducts seminars and workshops on a regular basis to keep healthcare professionals abreast of all the advances in the medical field.

Webinars

Webinars connect geographically dispersed doctors to share their information, ideas, and to be in touch with the fraternity. Aegis of Indian Medical Academy first  time in India conducted webinars.

E-news letters

Newsletters discusse latest advancements in various fields such as new products, updates of local, national, and international conferences, launch of medicines, industry updates, and path breaking surgeries.

Med book – a medico networking site

Med book – a medico networking site is an Indian Medical Academy networking site where the healthcare professionals share their ideas and experiences on a wide variety of issues.

A comfortable approach for Continuing Medical Education Programs (CME)

Continuing medical education (CME) has an extremely prominent role to play in molding a physician’s practice and growth. CME expands the knowledge of medical professionals and provides up-to-date on emerging medical technologies.

It can be a tedious process for a doctor to obtain CME credits by appearing in at physical training centers. Claiming that doctors are one amongst the busiest professionals to spare time in physical training, the ICT enables them to carry their education from anywhere and gain the credits. Continuing medical education (CME) program acts as an interactive virtual classroom, teleconference of operative procedures, online library, and web enabled teaching to fill the knowledge gap in the health care professionals.

Over the past few years, few pilot projects were carried out in the country, which had an encouraging response. ISRO’s (Indian Space Research Organization) telemedicine program continuing medical education (CME) helps to provide rural healthcare professionals to enhance knowledge and skill through satellite based tele-link. With the recent  availability  of  vast bandwidth  from  existing  space  and  terrestrial  telecommunication infrastructure,  necessary  hardware  and software, and the emerging  technology of grid computing, and information  technology  professionals,   India is positioned to afford continuing medical education (CME) program.

Get 4 CME Credits , On attending 7th International Conference on Transforming Health care with Information Technology 2016 http://www.transformhealth-it.org/ 

CME

Telementoring (Remote monitoring)

Telementoring in a simple term is an online mentor who can progress the track of a participant using the telecommunications medium. An experienced medical professional from anywhere can mentor the new professionals learning, experimenting, performing a medical procedure and expanding their knowledge.

One of the successful experimentation of telementoring in India happened in 2003 at The Amrita Emergency Care Unit at Pampa.  A pediatric cardiologist at Pampa performed a remote tele-surgery under the guidance of cardio-vascular thoracic surgeon and saved the life of a person. Telementoring is used in performing surgical procedures in various specialties like urology, vascular surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, and in endocrine surgery.

Telemonitoring-network

The telementoring services provided by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Apollo Telemedicine Centre are being saviors for 100’s of people living in remote places. Specialists at Apollo hospitals in Hyderabad or Chennai guide a 50-bed hospital at Aragonda, a village in Andhra Pradesh. Under a specialists’ guidance, the Apollo Telemedicine Healthcare Centre at Aragonda helped the healthcare professionals in handling complex neurological cases without consulting another healthcare centre at Chennai.

Innovations – ICT in medical education

There is a lot of research occurring around the globe to make the best contributions towards implementing ICT in medical education. The Division of Educational Informatics in the NYU School of Medicine, New York has innovative teaching tools that steer through technology:

Tool Purpose
Virtual microscope Display, annotate, and navigate over 1,300 digital histology and pathology slides remotely
ALEX (Advanced Learning Exchange) Acts as a resource for online medical education contentSIMUL
WISE-MD(Web-based Initiative in Surgical Education) A surgical tool that provides linear narration of first visit of the patient to the postoperative visits.
The BioDigital Human An online virtual human body that allows students to view lie-sized content in an anatomy lab using 3D glasses.
Types of digital learning

Digital learning resources are the key to provide effective teaching and a conducive learning environment for both the mentor and the student. Few best used resources: 

Simulations – Supports teacher’s explanation and enables the learners to test their experiments and thoughts.

Animation – Provides a two-dimensional view of concepts that enhances student’s easy learning.

Quiz– Helps the learners to assess their own understanding and to obtain their feedback promptly.

E-books – Easily accessed by the learners   to the course of their choice.

Case : Merck India (MSD) seeks an expert agency to build good writing practices and strengthen its medical advisory services team with medical writing skills. InfocusRx tem delivered Online Training using live meeting and by giving access to its proprietary training portal. The training was focused on Scientific/ Publication writing, Consumer health writing and Medico marketing writing with customized assignments and assessments. The participants joined webinar from PAN India and had full flexibility to take up the training – anytime and anywhere by logging Training Portal – www.onlinemedicalwriting.com. This training program is presented in an asynchronous format. It means participants are not required to attend class at a certain given time, but can login and access the program when it is most convenient for them

What is new!  
An e-learning course at CAHOCON 2015

Wolters Kluwer, Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organizations (CAHO) and the Bangalore Baptist Hospital, developed an e-learning course and released CAHOCON 2015 in New Delhi. The course aims at influencing patient quality and safety by enhancing communication in healthcare. It was developed to meet the requirements of all the healthcare personnel. This course utilizes real-life videos, quiz, animations, and assessment to achieve engagement of learners.

Xpedient Digital Media, August 26, 2015

It is a fast-growing internet media agency in Hyderabad, which is entering into healthcare as eHealthMedia to facilitate communication between healthcare professionals and patients.

“Our motto is to bring people and healthcare professionals closer together, thus helping them lead better lives.”

                 -P. Narasimha Reddy, the Managing Director of Xpedient.

Healthcare platforms of Xpedient Digital Media

HealthWatchCenter.in – Is a platform containing content for doctors for educating patients through articles and health information.

Indiaclinics.in– A platform to find out hospitals near the patients location.

HealthWatchChannel.com- A platform through which the health care professionals share videos regarding  treatments, procedures, preventive measures and post operative care for patients.

According to a research analysis, Indian healthcare providers would spend an estimated $1.2 billion U.S. dollars (USD) on IT products and services in 2015, an increase of 7 percent from last year. Clinics and healthcare centers will enhance and upgrade software, IT, and telecom services and are expected to continue in future. 

Moving 5 years forward, India is estimated to have a rapid development in the field of information and communication technology. The government’s top priority grants focus more on digital India that helps in delivering healthcare through technology.  This improvised technology can provide advanced and more effective digital resources to promote health education to health care professionals and patients.

References
  1. . http://www.zeroonezero.com/medical/healthcare-professionals/continuing-education-HCP.html

  2. http://www.tojdel.net/pdf/v03i02/v03i02-09.pdf
  3. http://www.intechopen.com/books/robot-surgery/telementoring-and-telesurgery-future-or-fiction-#
  4. . http://www.sgpgi-telemedicine.org/Publication/Book_Chapter/telementoring_in_india.pdf
  5. http://www.aimshospital.org/get-help/our-departments/centers/centre-for-digital-health/telemedicine/
  6. http://stbmi.ac.in/matter/international%20pub/17_Continuing%20Medical%20Education.pdf
  7. .http://telemedindia.org/telesurgery.html
  8. http://www.aimshospital.org/get-help/our-departments/centers/centre-for-digital-health/telemedicine/
  9. http://www.maharashtramedicalcouncil.in/CME/ListCME.aspx
  10. http://indianmedicalacademy.org/Broadening-horizons.html
  11. http://medind.nic.in/jah/t10/s1/jaht10s1p109.pdf
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2937346/
  13. http://www.who.int/pmnch/events/partners_forum/ICT_transforming_Healthcare_Education_Philippines.pdf
  14. http://www.basiced.org/wp-content/uploads/Factsheets/Technology_fact_sheet.pdf
  15. http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1379684242_Kumar.pdf
  16. https://www.med.nyu.edu/school/studentsfaculty/office-medical-education/innovative-technology-medical-education
  17. https://learningtechnologies.epigeum.com/courses/learning_technologies/103/course_files/html/course_files/1_2.html
  18. http://www.firstpost.com/business/internet-of-things-a-promising-prescription-for-improving-healthcare-in-india-2402566.html
  19. http://www.financialexpress.com/article/healthcare/happening-now/e-learning-course-on-healthcare-communication-launched-at-cahocon-2015/75863/
  20. http://businesswireindia.com/news/news-details/xpedient-digital-celebrates-10th-anniversary-launches-3-healthcare-pla/44999
  21. http://businesswireindia.com/news/news-details/xpedient-digital-celebrates-10th-anniversary-launches-3-healthcare-pla/44999
Information & Communication Technology in Health Education

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