Ajman: Gulf Medical University chancellor Prof Hamdy wins MOHAP award for innovative technology

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Gulf Medical University chancellor Prof. HossamHamdy Wins UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention’s Award for Innovative Learning Technology. The Gulf Medical University, Ajman is the first university in the Middle East region to introduce Virtual Patient Learning (VPL), significantly enhancing students’ skills and learning experience. VPL is the most sophisticated simulator with the highest fidelity using artificial intelligence and problem-based learning in medical education.

The Virtual Patient Learning (VPL) technology of Gulf Medical University (GMU), Ajman, developed by the chancellor Prof Hossam Hamdy – internationally known as medical educator and an active pediatric surgeon – was recognized as ‘one of the most innovative technologies in life sciences’, at the Healthcare Innovation Awards ceremony conducted by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), held at the MOHAP Training and Development Center in Sharjah, on February 13, 2020.

Developed for training the medical and health professions students of GMU, Virtual Patient Learning (VPL) is the most sophisticated simulator with the highest fidelity using artificial intelligence and problem-based learning in medical education. It exposes future healthcare professionals to a wide range of patient problems involving males and females of different age groups and ethnic backgrounds so that they practice their clinical skills in a virtual setting before being introduced to actual clinical settings. As a Problem Based Learning (PBL) application, VPL invokes critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and communicational skills amongst students. The program gives the students authentic medical problems 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.

Expressing delight at the prestigious MOHAP recognition won by VPL, Prof Hossam Hamdy said, “It is wonderful to see innovative training methodologies used at Gulf Medical University are being recognized at the regional and global levels. The Virtual Patient Learning (VPL) is the only simulation which captures the patient’s emotional reactions to the learner’s approach of communications with the virtual patient. Because it is highly authentic and extends beyond the simple acquisition of knowledge, I believe that Virtual Patient Learning (VPL) will gradually replace the traditional less authentic forms of Problem Based Learning.”

GMU is the first university in the Middle East region to introduce VPL, which is making a huge difference to the overall learning experience of the students, arming them with additional skills and insights to evolve as healthcare professionals of the future. VPL has won international acclaim earlier, securing top positions regionally and globally at the Reimagine Education Conference and awards in the USA, in the Creative Learning and E-learning categories.

Virtual patient learning can be used in two modes: a ‘learning’ mode and an ‘evaluation’ mode. The learning mode is developed to stimulate student-centred learning and is linked to a large number of resources such as radiological images, laboratory results, videos, and management guidelines. The evaluation mode can be used for the purpose of evaluating students’ decision-making and communication skills.