Most responsible healthcare workers struggle with finding the extra time to read new and interesting information about their specialties. The amount of literature that a physician needs to read in order to be considered ‘up to date’ goes far beyond the time a busy doctor has readily at disposal. If a physician handles a consult at a clinic that takes 6 hours, and still has to manage hospitalized patients at the same time, how much time does that leave the physician to study? Not much extra time, let me assure you.
There are many tools to help with this, from YouTube videos to companies that select the best and most interesting content for your spare study time – but is that enough? This was the question raised by researchers from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran. Through a very interesting paper, they imagined the design concept of Smart Articles, but what exactly is a Smart Article? A Smart Article is an interactive and intelligent form of the article you are reviewing which portrays the most important information for your practice in various formats supported by new technologies.
How will this concept be portrayed in real life? Let’s say that you are an internal medicine physician and that you are looking at interesting meta-analysis about a new recombinant insulin that promises less hypoglycemia, but you are a conscious physician and you want to know the facts more than the promises, so you want to review the article thoroughly. Of course, it’s hard to make time to read 127 pages, and that’s when the Smart Article would enter the frame.
In concept, the Smart Article would know your specialty, so it’ll take away whatever information it determines is unnecessary for you to read, based on preferences established by its user. Smart Article then uses the power of Augmented Reality to portray this information in a more accessible form, such as 3D graphics displaying the composition of the insulin, and possibly having virtual discussions with the researchers.
This system would allow doctors to share their doubts in an easy and interactive way, and allow the caretakers of the study to answer them. A Smart Article would even have a virtual forum for discussion with physicians from all over the world, which will be improving not only the transmission and understanding of the article, but also establishing new forms of feedback within the medical community. This would allow researchers to direct studies towards more interesting and productive subjects, reducing the distance between researchers and the medical community, breaking the frontiers of medicine based on evidence, and taking it back to its proper place to a more individualistic and logical approach – thanks to Augmented Reality.