1 Rehabilitation Department. "Jean-Pierre Cassabel" Hospital, Castelnaudary (FRANCE)
2 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department, Virgen del Rocío Univeristy Hospitals. Sevilla (SPAIN)
3 University of Murcia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4804-4810
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Virtual reality, robotics, and other “advanced technologies” have emerged as important innovations in medical learning and practice. Modern technology has also integrated into academics, particularly into the visual and tactile world of surgery and physical therapies. Coincident with advances in technology, the last two decades have witnessed dramatic changes in medical training programs to perform procedures in a more cost-effective manner, including shortening operating room times, lower times for physical therapies and improving outcomes [1,2].
The increased quality of live, and the economic impact of muscle-skeletal disorders related to professional activities, entails a need to develop new means in diagnosis and learning [3-5]. As new technologies emerge, the concept of practice and competence assessment has become more important. Earliest simulators used for practicing physical therapies and surgical techniques were cadavers and live animal models, but ethical and cost constraints have become overwhelming to most institutions. Hence, simple inanimate models have been developed for practice of basic surgical and technical skills, and instruction on models has shifted to medical centres [6].
Aviation industry provides an ideal example of how simulators enhance training and maintenance of competency, with increased safety and lower cost compared with real flight experience [7]. Adult learning is enhanced when skills and information are acquired in the context of coping with a specific event [8]. Learners retain 10-15 % of what is read, 10-20% of what is heard, and 20-30% of what is seen, but when audiovisual materials are integrated, knowledge retention increases to 40-50% [9]. An important tenet of motor-skills learning theory is that extensive practice and feedback are critical to successful learning [10,11].
By bringing simulators and advanced technologies into medical education and practice, we can begin to follow the 40-year proven record of flight simulators, not only concerning the medical staff, but also the patient himself, as done nowadays in several institutions [12,13]. The importance and future advantages of introducing advanced technologies in medical practice and learning will be highlighted and discussed in this paper.

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