Innovative learning method for healthcare professionals

Ismar Healthcare creates educational and communication programmes for its clients. These aim to train doctors to correctly apply new medical technology (medicines, medical devices, diagnostic tests) in clinical practice.
Ismar | iO

Client

Ismar

Challenge

Helping medical professionals with continuous education

Solution

An e-learning platform with short cases and peer review for targeted feedback

About Ismar

When developing education and communication solutions for its clients, Ismar Healthcare uses a systematic approach that is firmly rooted in applied educational and behavioural sciences. The extraction of “relevant scientific data and the clinical experience of thought leaders” are fundamental to this.

MIME is an innovative learning method aimed at the acquisition of new knowledge and its application in medical practice. The PinPoint Case Platform (PPCP) is the e-learning application for continuous medical education (CME), i.e. a website on which medical professionals (MPs) can continuously educate themselves. The short cases offered focus on key clinical questions in various disease areas and use peer review for targeted feedback.

3,000 users, 60,000 cases

In 2020, the platform relied on 93 experts from various disciplines for these peer reviews. More than 3,000 MPs (mainly oncologists, urologists, gynaecologists and pathologists) together completed almost 60,000 cases in 2020. 29% of the MPs completed at least one full topic (a series of 5 cases) and 24% went through at least one assessment. A good score can also lead to accreditation certificates, but the knowledge pool in itself remains the main objective.

Clear learning demand

The average percentage of incorrect answers was 30% and was highest for cases where new evidence from clinical studies (and uncertainty about its practical translation) emerged. The programme thus clearly meets an educational need. This was also reflected in the user surveys which were favourable to almost all aspects of the educational tracks, cases, and assessments.

Revenue model

Mirrors of medicine is financed by educational grants from the pharmaceutical industry and is free of charge for the MPs. In time, the revenue model of Mirrors of medicine may evolve to be similar to that of Facebook: medical professionals (currently mainly oncologists, urologists, gynaecologists and pathologists) can test and sharpen their knowledge on the platform free of charge, while generating data in the process, which in this case is of benefit to the pharmaceutical industry.

A matter of time

In the development of the PPCP of Mirrors of medicine, strong consideration was given to the fact that most MPs have very little time. It is not uncommon for a doctor to find the time to fill in another case only because, for example, a consultation was cancelled at eleven o'clock. The cases are therefore structured in such a way that you can complete them in different stages if you wish: ten minutes on day A, fifteen minutes on day B, etc. This insight also gave us the idea of the QuickScans (see below under 'Quick tests').

Personalised study track

In 2020, iO and Ismar also took the ambitious first steps together in transforming the PPCP into a case-based platform for personalised CME. After all, we are convinced that this tailor-made approach, based on individual learning needs, delivers better results than a 'one size fits all' model. This personalisation journey consists of 5 steps, including the development of systematic needs assessments, automated flows to meet individual needs and the measurement of learning effects and impact on healthcare. The project is supported by a major grant from the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).

“We are experts in learning concepts and medical content, iO takes care of the right technological choices and implementation.” — Louis Smet, Ismar Healthcare

Quick tests

The recently added QuickScans are also very popular. Through a 5-minute QuickScan, MPs can check their knowledge in a particular field and determine whether further training in this area would be useful. Mirrors of medicine already offers QuickScans on topics such as prostate cancer, bladder cancer and lower urinary tract disorders. After completing a QuickScan, MPs receive personalised feedback and their test results are also compared to those of other MPs around the world, immediately putting their level of knowledge into a broader perspective.

Different labels

In early 2021, it was mainly self-employed MPs who individually decided to use the platform for further training, but iO is currently also working on customised platforms that, for example, pharmaceutical companies can offer to their employees. In that case, the platform can also be transformed into the corporate identity of the organisation in question.

Students are also increasingly finding their way to the platform. It is likely that MPs who teach them or provide them with an internship are showing them the way. This proves that the platform does what it is supposed to do: broaden knowledge in an interactive way.

Delightful collaboration

iO is proud of its collaboration with Ismar Healthcare on Mirrors of medicine. We are pleased with the very high click-through rates. We believe that we have dealt with the customer requests very well so far and are looking forward to the next steps we will take together. Making the entire platform multilingual (currently, only English is offered), for example, is already on the agenda.

Louis Smets, president and CEO of Ismar Healthcare, shares our enthusiasm about this case: "In modern learning methods, content is inextricably linked to communication and interactive technology. We are experts in learning concepts and medical content, iO provides the right technological choices and implementation. Together we want to make this a marketing success!

The case is a fine example of how technology, consultancy, and marketing are becoming increasingly intertwined. In this case, an iO employee works at least two days a week for/at the client and, in that capacity, actually puts on the hat of product manager, data analyst, and digital strategist at the same time. Hats off for that!

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