mARble – Augmented Reality in Medical Education

Biomedizinische Technik/Biomedical Engineering (Impact Factor: 1.46). 08/2012; 57(SI-1 Track-A). DOI: 10.1515/bmt-2012-4252
Source: PubMed


The use of eLearning content to improve teaching and learning has a long-standing tradition in medical education. Nevertheless, "old fashioned" eLearning modules for medical subjects often lack a level of experience that is only possible with bedside teaching. On the other hand, bedside teaching may not always be a possibility, e.g. due to restrictions in time and place, since cases that allow the presentation of certain findings are not always available. Another aspect is that not all cases may be used in an appropriate manner for teaching purposes due to ethical constraints. For visually oriented subjects, Augmented Reality (AR) based applications can offer a way out of this dilemma since they make it possible to build almost life-like virtual cases that show all desired aspects and have the potential to significantly enhance the learning experience. Due to the ubiquitous availability of mobile phones and tablets and their ever-increasing computing power, it seems feasible to implement the concept of augmented reality on mobile devices. mARbleR, an Augmented Reality powered learning environment for mobile phones based this concept, will be presented in this paper. Currently, content for a basic course in legal medicine is available; a preliminary evaluation has been performed to evaluate the concept regarding its effect on the learning experience. First results will be presented.

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    ABSTRACT: In medicine, especially in basic education, it may sometimes be inappropriate to integrate real patients into classes due to ethical issues that must be avoided. Nevertheless, the quality of medical education may suffer without the use of real cases. This is especially true of medical specialties such as legal medicine: survivors of a crime are already subjected to procedures that constitute a severe emotional burden and may cause additional distress even without the added presence of students. Using augmented reality based applications may alleviate this ethical dilemma by giving students the possibility to practice the necessary skills based on virtual but nevertheless almost realistic cases. The app "mARble®" that is presented in this paper follows this approach. The currently available learning module for legal medicine gives users an opportunity to learn about various wound patterns by virtually overlaying them on their own skin and is applicable in different learning settings. Preliminary evaluation results covering learning efficiency and emotional components of the learning process are promising. Content modules for other medical specialtiesare currently under construction.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Studies in health technology and informatics
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    ABSTRACT: By adding new levels of experience, mobile Augmented Reality (mAR) can significantly increase the attractiveness of mobile learning applications in medical education. To compare the impact of the heightened realism of a self-developed mAR blended learning environment (mARble) on learners to textbook material, especially for ethically sensitive subjects such as forensic medicine, while taking into account basic psychological aspects (usability and higher level of emotional involvement) as well as learning outcomes (increased learning efficiency). A prestudy was conducted based on a convenience sample of 10 third-year medical students. The initial emotional status was captured using the "Profile of Mood States" questionnaire (POMS, German variation); previous knowledge about forensic medicine was determined using a 10-item single-choice (SC) test. During the 30-minute learning period, the students were randomized into two groups: the first group consisted of pairs of students, each equipped with one iPhone with a preinstalled copy of mARble, while the second group was provided with textbook material. Subsequently, both groups were asked to once again complete the POMS questionnaire and SC test to measure changes in emotional state and knowledge gain. Usability as well as pragmatic and hedonic qualities of the learning material was captured using AttrakDiff2 questionnaires. Data evaluation was conducted anonymously. Descriptive statistics for the score in total and the subgroups were calculated before and after the intervention. The scores of both groups were tested against each other using paired and unpaired signed-rank tests. An item analysis was performed for the SC test to objectify difficulty and selectivity. Statistically significant, the mARble group (6/10) showed greater knowledge gain than the control group (4/10) (Wilcoxon z=2.232, P=.03). The item analysis of the SC test showed a difficulty of P=0.768 (s=0.09) and a selectivity of RPB=0.2. For mARble, fatigue (z=2.214, P=.03) and numbness (z=2.07, P=.04) decreased with statistical significance when comparing pre- and post-tests. Vigor rose slightly, while irritability did not increase significantly. Changes in the control group were insignificant. Regarding hedonic quality (identification, stimulation, attractiveness), there were significant differences between mARble (mean 1.179, CI -0.440 to 0.440) and the book chapter (mean -0.982, CI -0.959 to 0.959); the pragmatic quality mean only differed slightly. The mARble group performed considerably better regarding learning efficiency; there are hints for activating components of the mAR concept that may serve to fascinate the participants and possibly boost interest in the topic for the remainder of the class. While the small sample size reduces our study's conclusiveness, its design seems appropriate for determining the effects of interactive eLearning material with respect to emotions, learning efficiency, and hedonic and pragmatic qualities using a larger group. German Clinical Trial Register (DRKS), DRKS-ID: DRKS00004685;
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of Medical Internet Research
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    ABSTRACT: Background. The effective development of healthcare competencies poses great educational challenges. A possible approach to provide learning opportunities is the use of augmented reality (AR) where virtual learning experiences can be embedded in a real physical context. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of the art in terms of user acceptance, the AR applications developed and the effect of AR on the development of competencies in healthcare. Methods. We conducted an integrative review. Integrative reviews are the broadest type of research review methods allowing for the inclusion of various research designs to more fully understand a phenomenon of concern. Our review included multi-disciplinary research publications in English reported until 2012. Results. 2529 research papers were found from ERIC, CINAHL, Medline, PubMed, Web of Science and Springer-link. Three qualitative, 20 quantitative and 2 mixed studies were included. Using a thematic analysis, we’ve described three aspects related to the research, technology and education. This study showed that AR was applied in a wide range of topics in healthcare education. Furthermore acceptance for AR as a learning technology was reported among the learners and its potential for improving different types of competencies. Discussion. AR is still considered as a novelty in the literature. Most of the studies reported early prototypes. Also the designed AR applications lacked an explicit pedagogical theoretical framework. Finally the learning strategies adopted were of the traditional style ‘see one, do one and teach one’ and do not integrate clinical competencies to ensure patients’ safety.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PeerJ