Gulf Medical University’s Virtual Patient, secures Gold and Silver at USA’s Reimagine Education Awards

Ajman, UAE – Philadelphia, USA – The Virtual Patient Learning (VPL), a problem-based learning innovation in medical education, an Artificial Intelligence based application, which was developed by Ajman Gulf Medical University and the Swiss company LifeLike, a leader in technology, secured top positions regionally and globally at the 2017 Reimagine Education Conference & Awards in the USA, earlier this month.

VPL, a unique educational innovation, was selected from 80 shortlisted projects out of 1040 entries by academic institutions from across the world at the conference which was organized by Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania university and QS, an international university-ranking organization.

VPL won Gold in the Middle East region in the Creative Learning category and Silver in the world in e-Learning category.

First of its kind in the region, the application exposes medical and health professions students to 60 different patient problems involving males and females of different age groups and ethnic backgrounds.

Dr. Thumbay Moideen – Founder, President Board of Trustees GMU, said: “We are thrilled to have won these two awards, which come as a testament to GMU’s position as a regional leader in medical education, and further fuels our ambition to become global innovators in medical education and a research powerhouse.”

GMU’s Chancellor, an international authority in medical education and developer of VPL, Professor Hossam Hamdy, said: “The ‘Virtual Patient’ uses artificial intelligence to create an authentic patient simulation through which students interact with patients which guides their learning and develop their reasoning and boost their communication skills used with the patients who later send feedback about their experience.”

“It also helps students build a strong rapport and communication with virtual patients in the future, and receive feedback from the patients”

The problem-based learning (PBL) application invokes critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and communicational skills amongst students by giving them authentic medical problems presented by virtual patients including history and clinical examination, investigations, lab results, vital signs, X-rays, and interaction with virtual patients to obtain information that would help them correctly identify medical problems of each case and prescribe treatments.

In VPL, Learning takes place through the interaction with the patient during which students are not given information but given the opportunity to look for the information that will help them come up with a diagnosis then decide a treatment.

Professor Hamdy indicated that ‘This achievement is an evidence that UAE educational institutions are now not only users of up-to-date technology but producers of innovation and technological creative solutions”.

This year’s edition of the Reimagine Education Conference & Awards was supported by a number of key tech industry players, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, MIT, and IBM and with the participation of other top international education institutions.