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At the beginning of October, Brighton and Sussex Medical School become the first UK based medical school to live stream a human dissection as part of their new virtual teaching technique. This event enabled the School to extend its provision of anatomy along with surgical teaching and training. The first session was for Year two and medical neuroscience students that witnessed a brain being removed. They also had an introduction session where they explored the muscles and bones of the chest.
In order for this breakthrough to take place BSMS which is a joint venture between the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton approached Ashdown Audio Visual which has been their specialist designer and supplier of audio visual technology for over a decade. We set out to design a system that involved the use of a number of pieces of technology including the cameras, the on-site displays and the streaming equipment and some very simple to use, but sophisticated control devices.
We are based in East Sussex and along with our involvement with both Universities and several of their Schools we also supply products and design creative solutions for a wide range of public sector organisations. We also work with a significant number of charitable, commercial and domestic clients throughout Sussex, Surrey and Kent and also in London. We are keen to work with other businesses in that area if the opportunity arises and we would be very willing to explore new technology with clients or to deliver more traditional solutions.
Sadly social distancing restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced all universities, just like many other organisations to extend their work online. In the case of BSMS their curriculum is now based on a mix of face-to-face and virtual teaching. They have implemented a blended medical curriculum to ensure that their students can still receive face-to-face teaching in key clinical areas, while at the same time benefitting from the latest digital innovations to support their learning. One of these innovations has been to bring the dissecting room, a highly regulated space, to students via streaming.
One of the students observing the activity stated “it’s definitely a learning curve with all the new tech tools, but I really felt that I gained an incredibly valuable experience by being present during the session. I know that I speak on behalf of all the Medical Neuroscience students when I say that we are very grateful for the opportunity to be included on something like this!”
Along with the use of this technology by the School, a few days earlier a week-long course used the live stream products to demonstrate surgical procedures to 350 surgeons from 26 countries around the world. The surgeons who took part were able to view the action through virtual reality headsets that allowed them to choose the camera angle perspective they wanted by moving their heads.