NEW APPROACHES IN E-LEARNING FOR MEDICINE AND BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING
The rapid developments in the last years not only require a well-prepared work force but also rapidly adapting training programs. In this case, distance learning is a viable alternative, motivating the development of a number of web-based learning environments. This paper presents the Leonardo da Vinci project (ToI), named “A Web-based E-Training Platform for Extended Human Motion Investigation in Orthopedics”. The project addresses equally to medical and bioengineering needs, proposing formation of specialists that will apply systematic the principles of medical and bioengineering sciences for the use, adaptation, evaluation, projecting and/or distribution of technological and medical solutions that lead to improvement of the patients condition. It aims to offer to orthopedic doctors and engineers interested in medical field, a common learning tool, with interdisciplinary approaches, trying to close the gap between engineering and medicine, by creating a new e-learning environment for human motion analysis.
The main outcome of the project is a Virtual Training & Communication Center ORTHO-eMAN for innovative education - on-line education and training material accessed via a standard web browser, which provides an integrated on-line learning environment. The project will enhance the training received by orthopedists and bioengineers by developing an innovative e-training method that is able to provide them with a range of case studies and an advanced training curriculum. The e-learning platform includes a repository of training material with real clinical case studies using digital imaging and accompanying notes, an interactive multimedia database system containing full reports on patients receiving orthopedic treatment. It will be used as a method of dynamic distribution of course information, but with innovative and more interactive uses, by including E-Learning, E-Communicating and E-Mentoring.
We need to form specialists with specific expertise related to the assessment, correction or replacement of functions that affect motility. This can be achieved only by understanding the basic concepts, technological principles and their interdisciplinary application. The ability to make measurements and interpret data from motion analysis through bioengineering techniques should be associated with the ability to identify, formulate and solve problems faced by patients and determining the most appropriate treatment. For this reason the topics of Ortho-eMan e-learning platform curricula are:
-Physics of the human body motion
-Basic knowledge on materials and biomaterials properties.
-Basic anatomy of human body motion
-Modern techniques in human motion analysis
The integration of e-learning into medical/bioengineering education can catalyze the shift toward applying adult learning theory, where educators will no longer serve mainly as the distributors of content, but will become more involved as facilitators of learning and assessors of competency. The developing infrastructure will be foreseen to support e-learning, to manage access to e-learning materials, consensus on technical standardization, methods for peer review of these resources. Our solution presents numerous research opportunities for the target group, along with continuing challenges for documenting lifelong learning and it combines the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical sciences, improving healthcare diagnosis, monitoring and therapy.