University of Florida launches innovative AI in medicine online courses

Newswise – The University of Florida College of Medicine is launching an innovative series of interactive online courses to teach medical students and clinicians how artificial intelligence can improve medicine. All three courses are virtual and interactive, making extensive use of animations and videos.

The decision to teach current and future physicians how to harness the power of AI for medical decision-making puts UF ahead of the curve, said Patrick Tigue, Associate Dean for the Application and Implementation of AI in the UF College of Medicine and one of the course developers.

The courses were originally designed for medical students, but Tighe envisions them eventually also being used by medical residents and fellows, professors and other practicing physicians.

“The hope is that one day this will inspire some of our learners to understand how they themselves can develop AI tools to better care for their patients,” Tighe said.

Both in AI content and in their pedagogical approach, the courses are scarce: Tighe said AI content is considered somewhat rare in medical school curricula. Course content is also delivered distinctively, drawing on videos, comics, graphics, and animations to appeal to a wide range of clinicians and medical students with different learning styles.

One of the main challenges was developing courses that “demystify” AI by showing medical students and providers how they can take advantage of its capabilities, Tighe said.

To do this, Tighe and his College of Medicine colleagues Chris Giordano, associate professor of anesthesiology, and Francois Modave. Director of Artificial Intelligence and Decision Making, launched a special collaboration with experts from the UF College of Education to develop online courses.

For the College of Education course designers, this was their first foray into AI as a subject and one of the first to rely so heavily on animations and other visuals. Every aspect of visual course presentation is intentional and holistic, said Jason D. ArnoldDirector of Online Learning, Technology and Communications for the College of Education.

The resulting courses showcase several of UF’s distinctive capabilities: Harnessing the power of AI in medicine and utilizing innovative learning techniques. There was no shortage of challenges, including teaching complex AI topics to a diverse group of learners.

Domenic Durante, a senior instructional designer at the College of Education who helped develop the courses, said presenting advanced AI concepts in short, interactive and engaging segments was one of those challenges. For the AI ​​in Medicine project, Durante and the team opted for something different from other online courses they’ve developed: comic books to introduce each new learning segment.

The first course gives clinicians the basics of AI, provides insight into its use in medicine, and demonstrates how to interact with campus experts in this field. The second course, available in late 2022, will focus on content for clinicians who want to develop their own models with AI experts from UF. The third course focuses on natural language processing in a clinical context. The course material has already been pilot tested with a small group of learners.

“We wanted classes that created opportunities for students to engage with each other and with the material,” Arnold said. “AI in medicine as a topic can seem enigmatic and intimidating. Our challenge was to make the concept more concrete for all learners.

About AI courses in Medical Education Foundations:

  • Distinctive in both content and approach. Artificial intelligence courses have yet to become a formal and widespread part of medical education, placing UF at the forefront of AI in medical learning. The courses are very different from traditional online lectures, deploying animations, graphics, and other visual elements intended to make learning AI accessible and accessible.
  • Created for a wide range of learners. The courses target professional students in medical training, but are also useful for practicing doctors who want to develop AI skills and resources. The course e-book is approved for continuing medical education.
  • The first course consists of 19 videos, each lasting eight to 10 minutes. The courses, which were developed exclusively by the UF College of Medicine and College of Education, will be available to non-UF learners in the future.
  • A focus on learning AI is another way UF and its academic health center are pioneering the use of artificial intelligence. The UF Smart Intensive Care Center was established in 2021 to develop an AI-centric intensive care unit and expand research on AI-based diagnostics and medical decision-making.