Last updated: 27.11.13

Gamification set to rule medical training

Existing models of learning for medical professionals could experience a drastic overhaul in the coming months and years.

Rather than focusing on educational practices such as face-to-face workshops. more innovative methods like gamification are set to take precedent in the world of healthcare training.

This was recently hailed by Professor Peter Henning from Karlsruhe University in Germany, who gave his predictions regarding medical education at the European CME Forum in London, PMLiVE reports.

Professor Henning claimed that making learning fun should be a key priority, as while current e-learning courses are valuable, the number of people participating them is on the decline and the use of games with educational aspects should be a serious alternative.

He was quoted as saying: "Playing a game was one of the earliest strategies for learning complex patterns. Whenever we play we are learning. So the question has to be: Why did we ever take the fun out of learning?"

Various example projects have been submitted to the European E-Learning Award eureleA, including a simulator that allows healthcare professionals to attend to virtual patients in a digital clinic.

According to Professor Henning, hardware such as Microsoft Kinect, which is designed for use with an Xbox console and recognises body movements, could also be used to generate more engaging learning for doctors.

His recommendations come after a recent report released by Nottingham University vice-chancellor Professor Greenaway suggested that a new way of training GPs is needed to fit in with the changing medical landscape.

With the digital revolution firmly upon us, and an increasing number of Britons relying on gadgets and technology to carry out a number of everyday activities, it makes sense for learning practices to reflect this and educate healthcare employees using platforms they are familiar with.

Gamification in particular works to make education more enjoyable, and ultimately helps the individuals being trained to retain the information they are being presented with much better.