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The Role of AI and Robotics in Future Medical School Curriculum

March 06, 2019
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If you have been on the internet for the past five years, you will know that the advancement of robotic technology has been moving very quickly. From drones to AI to machine learning to automated cars, advancements in the robotics industry are everywhere. The best part? It shows no sign of slowing down either.

Robots and artificial intelligence are here to stay. But what role will they play in the development of medical school curriculum? How much of an impact will they have when it comes to the study of medicine?

The Role of New Tech

In the medical field, you can expect robots and computers with artificial intelligence programs to take on more increasingly important roles. For example, in the operating room of the future, robotic technology and AI are bound to be common sights.

It is not just in operating rooms, but almost in every aspect of health care and medicine, these new technologies will become major players. There was a report that an AI program made in China was able to diagnose children’s diseases better than human doctors.

With technology advancing so quickly already, it can be really exciting to think about what the next 10, 20, and 50 years will look like.

Changes in the Medical Education

The question now is, when are medical students going to be introduced to these new technologies?

How should these technologies be included in the medical education and curriculum?

These questions and others were answered in the Topol Review. This is the brainchild of Eric Topol, a world-renowned digital medicine researcher and a skilled cardiologist. Topol is also the professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research Institute. His goal? To explore how to prepare the healthcare workforce through education and training to deliver the digital future.

Topol created a team of reviewers and advisory panels to help come up with recommendations for England’s National Health Service (NHS) staff. Though these recommendations are for the NHS of the United Kingdom, the insights gained by the review can also be applied in medical schools across the globe.

One of the main things that was explored by Topol and his team is how technology will affect and change the roles of medical practitioners in the future.

The report that was submitted by the review recommends that a new culture of learning be developed and nurtured in the medical field. Their recommendations are as follows:

  • Use methods that are multiprofessional and collaborative.
  • Use more infrastructure for workplace learning.
  • Focus on proactive learning.
  • Grant staff time for development separate from their regular duties.

The NHS Digital Education Programme

The review also recommends the creation of what is known as the NHS Digital Education Programme. This will oversee the implementation of digital medical technology, which includes robotics and AI.

Universities and medical schools are also encouraged to make students digitally literate. Ethical considerations and the safety questions that arise from the use of AI and robotics in treating humans should also be considered in educating students.

The medical school curriculum of the future should also make it easy for medical students to dabble in computer technology and engineering.

To put it simply, the recommendations made by the Topol Review aim to get the medical schools ready for the future.The increasing use of digital technologies in the medical field is going to be inevitable, and everyone should be ready.

Saint James School of Medicine and the AI Initiative

At Saint James School of Medicine, we are dedicated to improving the quality of education, whether it  be through smaller class sizes, better research resources, or technological advancement. We are very excited to announce that this April, Saint James School of Medicine will be receiving several Anatomage Tables for the students to use.

What is an Anatomage Table? It is considered to be the most technologically advanced anatomy visualization system for anatomy education and is being adopted by many of the world’s leading medical schools and institutions.

What will it allow our students to do? This system is the only fully segmented real human 3D anatomy system. Users can visualize anatomy exactly as they would on a fresh cadaver. Growing publications show improved test scores, more efficient class and lab sessions, and student acceptance. The tables will allow students to interact with young and well-preserved digital cadavers instead of aged and degenerated bodies. The accurate details and rich content draw student’s interest and attention, leading to more effective educational outcomes.

Want to know more? Keep up with Saint James School of Medicine on social media to see how we integrate this amazing technology into our curriculum.

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