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Virtual meetings and augmented reality: how to innovate CME events

Active learning, web platforms and apps, edu-games, soft skills and hybrid formats are some of the innovations put in place by AIM Education to raise the success of Continuing Medical Education events.

When it comes to Continuing Medical Education the most important objectives are a high quality of educational content, compliant with regulations, and effective learning. Involving health care professionals, answering their formative needs and helping them acquire key knowledge are the goals at AIM Education.

But to keep attention high and to effectively convey educational content it is necessary to innovate formats, training techniques and tools.

Active learning, effective education and new technologies are the keywords that describe the actual trend in CME events organisation” points out Barbara Sambugaro, Business Manager of AIM Education, the AIM Group International Division which realises 400 CME accredited events each year in Italy.

Here there are three useful ways to make the CME events more effective:

  • More engagement. “Keeping health care professionals engaged in learning activities is not easy. Using technologic tools such as iPads, e-touch tables or even smartphones can be useful to enhance their CME experience. Some of the activities we created allowed participants to independently solve clinical cases and share their outcomes, play interactive edu-games with human patients simulators, augmented reality exercises for a realistic learning where the health care professionals needed only to point their smartphone camera at a full-body training manikin to open important information, pictures, videos, or ultrasound results which were useful in making a diagnosis, join in webinars with open Q&A sessions and many other events. There are many possibilities and remember to introduce new activities to returning learners” explains Sambugaro.
  • Focus on soft skills. “Since doctors’ roles and tasks are complex and go beyond medical treatment, more and more we can offer doctors the opportunity to develop also expertise in soft, non-scientific skills such as management, leadership and team coordination, legal issues, communication with patients and their families, work-related stress management and burnout prevention, building a web reputation, etc. Feedback on these topics is very positive and interest is high”.
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing. “Doctors need to share best practices and knowledge, beyond the annual congress, so we organised several formative events putting different small hospitals in contact via a web videoconference with major scientific research centres or specialised hospitals for a series of lessons. The web platforms allow participants to download further documents, contact the speakers, insert clinical cases, and establish a network”.

“Summing up, listening to health professionals’ needs and being imaginative are the keys to success in the CME events”, summarises Sambugaro (photo below).


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