Associate Professor Manzur Murshed and Professor Guojun Lu from the Gippsland School of Information Technology, Associate Professor Elmer Villanueva from the Gippsland Medical School, and Dr James Brown from the Southern General Practice Training are looking to revolutionise the learning capabilities and supervision of regionally-based GP registrars by developing a user-friendly and privacy-preserving video streaming interface to securely connect webcams in participating GP clinics.
“The pilot study provides us with the opportunity to investigate the utility of an integrated web-based camera network to support delivery of supervision and clinical teaching visits for GP registrars in regional areas,” Associate Professor Murshed said.
“We need to increase the versatility of our teaching methods and to foster the integration of resources across different levels of training – university, hospital and training clinics. It is an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of this technology in GP training and medical education with rigour.”
The system will enable off-site supervision and consultation observations. Thtrough video conferencing, it will also allow GP registrars to participate in educational events without having to attend in person. With the system in place, a GP supervisor will be able to remotely observe patient consultations of a GP registrar in real time without compromising privacy and security issues.
“We all know that internet bandwidth is notoriously variable in rural areas, so we are looking to incorporate some adaptive techniques to manage the quality and privacy of the video streams,” Associate Professor Murshed said.
“Patient confidentiality is essential, so we will need to integrate necessary coding, transmission, and user interface technologies to support security and privacy requirements.
“Our ultimate aim is to determine how and whether web-based technology can support off-site GP supervision and still allow for the delivery of a quality education experience.
“Once we have identified the barriers and enablers for effective program delivery, it will contribute to a starting point for further applications such as viewing live medical procedures.
“The expected increase in medical graduates, intern placements and GP registrars requires greater efficiencies and expansion of further teaching sites. Success of this pilot study will allow recruiting new GP training sites where it is difficult to have comprehensive onsite supervision,” Associate Professor Murshed said.
The project is funded under the Education Integration Project grant from the General Practice Education and Training Ltd.