Technology Innovators Nominee

The Chronicle of Higher Education posted a list of Technology Innovators nominated by it’s readers.



eLearn Magazine – Second Life for Medical Education

Several universities worldwide are grappling with the challenges of medical education in the context of reduced access to preoperative patients [1]. This is especially important given that most would accept that “the single most important function of ‘modern’ academic surgical units relates to the provision of a well-structured and imaginative educational programme for undergraduates” [2]. Educational tools that offer engaging modes of interaction were identified as absolute necessary to attract not only candidates to surgical training programs, but students to medical programs in general. One solution that could theoretically address both of these needs simultaneously involves the use of computer-simulated or “virtual” patients.

Read more here.

Developing a virtual world medical classroom

Developing a virtual world medical classroom By Nicholas Spooner

Second Life is an online virtual world consisting of simulated life-like infrastructures, designed and constructed in virtual fashion, and populated with avatars (virtual representations of people) through which real-life users are able to realistically interact with others online.

over the past 12 months, fourth year medical student Nicholas Spooner, as an Honours research project, supervised by Professor Mohamed Khadra, set up a pilot to assess the suitability of introducing virtual learning into the Sydney Medical School curriculum.

Children’s Hospital Westmead Clinical School Newsletter – Second Life in Sydney Medical School

Childrens Hospital Westmead - Clinical School Newsletter

Nicholas Spooner is a final year medical student with an interest in surgery and background in engineering, who is currently studying Child and Adolescent Health. Nicholas and his supervisor, Professor Mohamed Khadra, have undertaken a pilot project to introduce virtual learning into the Sydney Medical Program through Second Life. Second Life is a virtual world consisting of simulated, life-like infrastructures that are designed and constructed in a virtual fashion. It is a world populated with avatars, or virtual representations of people, through which real-life users interact with others. Nicholas and Mohamed aim to use Second Life to enable students to acquire and practice new skills through interacting with surgical diseases in safe, confidential, realistic medical environments.

The pilot was funded by a Teaching and Innovations Grant from The University of Sydney. In the first phase Nicholas and Mohamed purchased space in Second Life and consulted with Second Life design technicians to construct a simulated University of Sydney teaching hospital. They constructed a virtual medical complex that is a fully equipped teaching centre with trauma bay, emergency room, surgical operating theatre and outpatient clinic. Sydney Medical School students who participated in the pilot project were able to complete a number of Problem Based Learning (PBL) cases and assess patient avatars. The students were enthusiastic about the possibility of virtual world teaching and eager for it to be incorporated into future curriculums. Nicholas and Mohamed will continue to develop the virtual hospital as an additional learning space for Sydney Medical School students.

Nepean Private Hospital takes on med students

Nepean Private Hospital takes on med students

NEPEAN Private Hospital is now a teaching arm of the University of Sydney.

Medical students from Sydney Medical School Nepean will be able to go to Nepean Private Hospital as part of their four-year training to become doctors.

The medical school teaches more than 200 medical students at Nepean Hospital each year.

The announcement was celebrated last Thursday by students, and staff of the medical school and Healthscope.

Sydney Medical School year four student Daniel Vagg said: “The opportunity to visit patients at Nepean Private Hospital and accompany clinicians on their ward rounds is certain to add a new dimension to our medical education.

“In addition to reducing the number of students attached to a particular team, we will be exposed to many conditions and surgical procedures not commonly encountered in the public hospital.”

For his colleague, Nicholas Spooner, the chances of more individual teaching is an attraction.

“Dividing our education between both public and private hospitals will further increase our understanding of the healthcare system and different modalities of healthcare provision,” he said.

Associate Dean Sydney Medical School Nepean Prof Michael Peek said the excellent facilities and staff at Nepean Private Hospital will add another dimension to teaching.

“We are very honoured and excited to play a part in shaping the doctors of the future,” he said.

“Healthscope, Nepean Private, the doctors and the staff at Nepean are committed in assisting with this training.”

Nepean Private Hospital general manager Helen Lonergan said students will accompany consultants on ward rounds and watch a number of different surgical procedures.

“Much of this training, especially elective surgery, is not possible in the public system,” she said.

Tom Rubin, executive officer medicine, thanked all visiting medical officers and Nepean Private staff for helping to train the doctors-in-waiting.

Medical Simulation Technology: Educational Overview, Industry Leaders and What’s Missing.

Modern medical simulation technology (MST) arrived in 1960 with the development of the Resusci Annie which assisted  students in the acquisition of proper ventilation and compression techniques used during basic life support.  Following a steady stream of subsequent technological advances, MST manufactures are now able to offer training aids capable of facilitating innovative learning in such diverse areas as: human patient simulators, simulated clinical environments, virtual procedure stations, virtual medical environments, electronic tutors and performance recording. This paper lists a number of the most popular MST’s currently available and cites several evaluative efforts undertaken to date regarding the efficacy of MST to the medical profession.  The article concludes by proposing a variety of prospective simulation innovations of potential interest to both medical and technology personnel while offering health care administrators a series of recommended considerations when planning to integrate MST into existing medical systems.

Nepean Medical Research Foundation – Guest Speaker

NMRF - Cocktail Party

Mr Nicholas Spooner, is using the virtual world of Second Life to design a training program for young doctors, being able to present them with scenarios they may never see in a real training hospital.