A group of medical consultants in Belfast have got together with IT specialists to create a mobile app that can identify if a doctor is making mistakes when interpreting X-rays and can help them to develop their skills. The training tool, which is the first of its kind in the world, can also identify areas of weakness that can be worked on in training and it could potentially save lives.
The app, which is called ‘Experior’, shows 30 different X-ray images, each of which displays a particular condition. The doctor using it has to identify the diagnosis, submit their answer and then have it marked. The app gives the user immediate feedback, and the more frequently the doctor uses it, the more targeted and personalised the feedback becomes. The device will primarily be used in accident and emergency and cancer departments, but it could eventually be rolled out across all health specialities and even into other sectors such as education, industry and financial services.
One of the creators of the app, Dr Tom Lynch, head of nuclear medicine at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre in Belfast describes Experior as a simple tool with huge potential. It is a state-of-the-art testing and training tool that features X-rays that are typical of those that either a junior doctor or a more experienced medic would see in an emergency department
As well as providing instant feedback, so that doctors can learn from their mistakes the fact that Experior is a mobile application that is monitored remotely means that it can be used by doctors worldwide. This means that doctors can be learning more about X-ray interpretation wherever they are based and can use the app to study at the hospital or at home. Almost 10,000 doctors are already using the app, including several in Australia and New Zealand.
The aim of the project was to develop a device that would improve diagnosis and health care for everyone. Results so far suggest that this is a world-class solution that could lead the way for training organisations and doctors across the globe.
The NI Health Board may test the app for 12 months before deciding whether to implement it across health trusts in Northern Ireland.
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