Medical technology has powered ahead in the past few decades, with radical innovations in medical devices, new ways of detecting diseases, advancements in robotic and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities, thereby increasing awareness among patients and changing the face of healthcare in recent times.
Healthcare education has also transformed itself to factor in all these innovations and to keep abreast of new happenings in the global medical environment. In countries such as Australia, the US and Canada, technology has advanced in leaps and bounds to make medical practice easier for healthcare professionals. This also necessitates that every professional be tech savvy in order to keep up with evolving practices.
In the world of education too, new models for teaching and learning have completely transformed the traditional brick and mortar classrooms into new-age digital learning experiences to dissolve geographical and financial barriers. Innovations in education have touched upon the field of healthcare education as well, with students now being able to make more informed decisions about their education.
Nanotherapy for Cancer:
Researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University are using nanobots – incredibly tiny devices of 25-35 nm using single strands of DNA – to create aggressive treatments for cancer. Other research underway involves the use of nanodevices made using inorganic nanoparticles synthesized from gold or silver, of sizes from 1 to 100 nm, used for in-vivo tumour imaging.
Electronic Diagnostic Tools:
Diagnosis at earlier stages of a malady is now possible using sophisticated tools such as the EkoCore – an electronic stethoscope innovated by Eko Devices, Berkeley. This device can visualize waveforms in real time and store the data electronically.
Robotic surgery is now becoming more common since it allows doctors perform complex procedures, even remotely, with a high degree of precision, flexibility and control. Amazingly delicate procedures can be carried out, allowing greater innovations in medical practice that were never possible before.
Organs on a Chip:
Researchers at the Wyss Institute have engineered microchips that mimic the micro-architecture and functions of organs such as the lungs, bone marrow, intestines and so forth. These chips can be used instead of animal testing and provide a window to closely study how organs work.
Synthetic drugs that mimic the hormone Relaxin in pregnant women are now available to up the odds against survival of patients in end-stage cardiac disease. These, and many more innovations in healthcare, are changing the face of the medical profession as we know it!
Healthcare professionals must keep abreast of these emerging technologies in order to stay current. They also ought to have a fair knowledge of the innumerable innovations in healthcare education which will, in the long run, allow them to interact with the best minds in the world in real-time, learning from each other in today’s advanced knowledge economy. The emerging landscape for healthcare education involves the cloud, mobile learning devices and social networking in a new-age digital learning ecosystem that is overcoming the limitations of traditional learning.
Today’s students are tech-savvy and able to utilise the benefits of self-paced e-learning and virtual interactive classrooms to the maximum. Based on the goals they wish to achieve, students are all set to chart out their own career paths, learning one professional skill after the other in order to be completely work-ready. Learners are developing their own skillsets through online interaction with peers and mentors who are passionate about sharing their knowledge with the world. They have mastered the art of pushing the boundaries of current knowledge to accommodate newer, more innovative practices.
Through online learning programs, students as far away as villages in Africa and remote localities in New Zealand can set their own learning pace and engage with online curriculums on par with the latest advancements in global healthcare. Lifelong learning, as is the norm in healthcare, will become very easy through next-gen learning platforms that bring together students and educators from across the globe, building bridges across geographical divides to facilitate high-quality learning for all that is not limited by textbooks.