Physician Candidates Will Receive Training With “Virtual Patients”

Physician Candidates Will Receive Training With “Virtual Patients”
21 August 2019

A 3D “Virtual Patient” application with speech recognition will be developed by Hacettepe University and Sestek with the R & D project supported by TUBITAK. The virtual patient application, which allows both written and oral communication, aims to help prospective physicians to continuously improve their communication skills and reduce the likelihood of medical errors.

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ISTANBUL (TR) - It is aimed that medical faculty students around the world gain experience through possible disease scenarios with standard patient training before encountering real patients. However, due to the high number of students and the intensity of the medical education program in our country, physician candidates can conduct these interviews in a limited number. In order to find a solution to this problem, Hacettepe University and Sestek, a voice and artificial intelligence technologies company, started to develop the Hasta Virtual Patient ”application, which provides both written and oral communication with the financial support of TUBITAK. The Hasta Virtual Patient ”application, which recognizes conversations with natural human voice and can communicate depending on scenarios, aims to support students to communicate more effectively with patients. The project, which will be implemented after international validity tests, is eagerly awaited in the medical world.

“Virtual Patient Application Will Help Reduce Possible Medical Errors in the Clinic"

Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine faculty member who made explanations about the project. Barış Sezer said, “Communication skills training for medical students will gain a new dimension with the virtual patient application. Our students, doctors of the future, will have the opportunity to develop their communication skills with technology support while having the advantages of integrating technology into education. Because standard patients have a number of different features, such as weight and age, they cannot easily fit into any scenario. Moreover, the intensive training program and some constraints make it possible for students to have limited communication with standard patients. The Virtual Patient application that will be enriched with 6 different scenarios that we will prepare as Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine; in the pre-clinical period, it will indirectly affect the reduction of medical errors in the clinic by allowing students to perform multiple repetitive applications at any time and in the environment. ”

"Dialogue can be established as if there is a real patient”

Tuba Arslan Kır, Manager of Sestek R & D Centers stated that the limits brought by human factor in medical education will decrease with the application of virtual patients: Thanks to Sestek's dialogue-based technologies, the application will allow students to communicate verbally as if they were a real patient in addition to written communication. The application, which contains three-dimensional and animated virtual characters, will provide guidance to students by specifying the stages in which they are missing with their feedback. Trainers will be able to follow the students easily as the whole process is recorded. "

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