My virtual anastomosis: a cardiothoracic surgery learning continuum using MOOC

Sergeant Paul1, Sergeant Oliver2

1 KU. Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

2 Meplis Brasil Inteligência em Saude Ltda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Live procedures and current proctoring processes in cardiothoracic surgery have proven to be very attractive but extremely dangerous, expensive and inefficient. Public scrutiny and the scientific literature identify the implementation failures of novel techniques, demanding higher skills.  In parallel the science of learning has exploded as well for knowledge- as skills-class educational objectives. 

The “my virtual anastomosis” project  implements a blended and distributed technical learning continuum, integrating deconstruction of teachable components, community building, wiki concepts, low fidelity simulation, Objective structured assessments of technical skill (OSATS), cloud computing, and HIPAA compliance and intelligence.

The scholar starts with a three hour regional anastomotic simulation course on low fidelity simulators under the guidance of his later evaluator. He then gets graft material and a low fidelity simulator (Arroyo), made in a protected workshop in Czech Republic and based on the 2011 EACTS-Ethicon wiki contest for simulators for anastomotic techniques. The scholar is then invited to register on a HIPAA compliant cloud platform (Meplis Ltda). He follows a strict simulation curriculum and is invited at regular intervals to interface with an evaluator by uploading comments, pictures and video files. This evaluator oversees the submitted progress and returns qualitative and quantitative (OSATS-based) comments guiding the scholar towards an improved anastomotic technical skill. The anastomotic community is created by the scholar inviting friends, colleagues or a regional/national supervisor to his educational environment. Intelligence is created on every step of the learning continuum. Over 1100 scholars have participated in the continuum, and additional projects are in development.   

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