Key medical institutions have joined forces to liberate health education from its current physical limitations and have secured $4.5 million to develop online teaching tools that can be accessed via the national broadband network.
The Biomedical Education Skills and Training network (BEST) will create online training simulations to educate students in rural and remote locations. The proposed virtual education facility includes: a dissecting room, lab space, national medical image bank, patient clinic, and a diagnostic case book.
The medicine faculty of the University of NSW, a BEST member, has used virtual microscopy for the past four years, according to head of medicine Dr Nicholas Hawkins. It uses a virtual patient with symptoms to teach exercise physiology students. Depending on how the « patient » is treated they can be healed, hurt, or even killed.