Urs Albrecht, deputy director at the Germany-based Peter L Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, has created an app that modernizes the way medical students learn about injuries and health conditions. Albrecht’s app uses QR code-like technology to create a virtual medical issue using augmented reality on the student’s mobile device. Albrecht created it in order to create a more effective learning environment for medical students without breaking ethical codes; for example, students are not allowed to examine crime victims because of the potential for the victims to suffer re-traumatization if not treated properly. The app instead presents forensic findings on the intact skin of the subject. “Augmented reality was perfect for this project,” explains Albrecht, “as a tutor I could use a set of AR markers to arrange findings on the students themselves and they were able to examine each other. This was an experience a textbook could not offer.” Albrecht conducted a small study of 10 third-year medical students, splitting them into two groups and the app to one group and textbook materials to the other. He found that the students who had used the app had a greater knowledge of the material. Albrecht is currently working on a larger study with 50 medical students studying dermatology.
Read more below and tell us your thoughts—do you know of any other apps that are replacing or augmenting traditional medical classroom materials?