New age technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data are playing a pivotal role in healthcare today, enabling healthcare professionals to be more watchful and connected with their patients.
The explosion of Internet of Things (IoT), another such emerging technology, has seen its application in healthcare, in the form of Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). While healthcare providers are already teaching their staff on handling connected medical devices, introducing IoMT in medical education, in conjunction with other technologies,can help in producing better doctors.
According to a report, the global IoMT market was worth $22.5 billion in 2016. It was expected to reach $72.02 billion by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate of 26.2 percent.
What is Internet of Medical Things or IoMT?
IoMT is an amalgamation of medical devices and applications that can connect to health care information technology systems using networking technologies. In other words, IoMT means the collection of medical devices and applications that connect to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. IoMT devices link to cloud platforms on which captured data can be stored and analysed.
Also known as healthcare IoT, IoMT has been a gamechanger in healthcare, driving down costs and helping improve patient care and comfort. Some examples of IoMT devices include MRI machines, patient monitors, smart beds and IV pumps.
How IoMT& other technologies can help modernise medical education
Healthcare IoT is evolving each day and the technology has the potential to transform patient experience and reduce healthcare costs. Keeping this in view, medical colleges or institutions are introducing IoMT in their curriculum, along with other new-age technologies, to help aspiring doctors get ready for future challenges in modern healthcare.
So far, Case-Based Learning (CBL) has become an effective pedagogy for student-centered learning in medical education, but IoT concepts have gained a significant attention in recent years. Using new age technologies along with CBL can improve the learning ability by providing real evolutionary medical cases. An IoT infrastructure can be exploited to support flipped case-based learning in a cloud environment. This can be done with the help of state-of-the-art security and privacy measures for personalised medical data.
IoTs gadgets can be collected to generate a real-world case for a medical student.
AR & MR in medical education
The digital combination of augmented reality and mixed reality has shown widespread applications in the field of medical education, training, surgical planning. These technologies have an immense ability to guide complex medical procedures.
Role of Big Data
Through big data, healthcare providers and health administrators can learn more about their patients and the care they provide to them. Therefore, including Big Data in medical education can help educational institutions in producing doctors who can build better health profiles and better predictive models around individual patients so that they can better diagnose and treat disease.
AI has reformed the diagnostic and therapeutic precision and competence in various fields of medicine. Medical students who are well-versed in AI will be empowered in improving efficiency and overall healthcare. In the evolving modern medical digital world, doctors need to be able to use AI efficiently for improved healthcare.
Currently, case-based learning adopted by most of the medical institutions lacks a development mechanism for real-world clinical cases using an IoT infrastructure. Therefore, there is a strong desire to exploit existing IoT resources and infrastructure for enhancing medical education. In this direction, research is already underway to design platforms that can be used for enhanced and connected medical learning.
(Dr. Devesh Kumar Singh is Chairman, Noida International University)