The coronavirus outbreak has been the topic of discussion around the world for a couple of months. It has spread in 127 countries with 1,34,829 positive reported cases, the pandemic has already claimed the lives of 4,984 individuals and the count continues. As a preventive measure, the government of India has declared a shut down of public places like schools, colleges and movie theatres in the capital city, Delhi. This has put institutions at a halt as they seek other alternatives to continue the learning process.
COVID-19: The bloom of Online learning
Democratizing access to higher education, online courses have been available on the internet of things (IoT) for decades. But now with the pandemic lingering over our heads, the world has finally opened their minds to this option. With multiple schools, universities and other institutions being shut down the only way to connect with each other is through virtual engagement. To help with the situation, Coursera, a US-based company that provides online education recently declared free access to its 3,800 courses to any impacted university in the world. As much as we want to get rid of the coronavirus, it cannot be denied that it has facilitated the adoption of online learning. It has provided digital courses providers a chance to prove themselves as the world is now testing online options not just on the university level but also on the medical level. Doctors too are increasingly adopting online courses as well as providing these courses and lectures to spread their medical knowledge about the epidemic.
A medical conference is an environment wherein doctors meet and disseminate information, it gives doctors a chance to communicate with each other, helps professionals expand their span of a network, etc. It is a very beneficial and major source of revenue but on the flip side, they are also a source of the spread of various diseases. History is witness that medical conferences have amplified epidemics, for instance, the influenza outbreak of 1969 where 1/3rd of the attendees were infected. With regard to the coronavirus outbreak, it was reported that two physicians from Australia were infected after attending a radiology conference. Again 3 people from Boston were infected after attending a meeting. A solution, for the time being, would be considering virtual conferencing. E-learning platforms like Docmode enable medical associations to partner with professionals and provide free online lectures covering topics in the healthcare industry that traditional learning may not include.
The world is looking to the internet for lastest updates and health professionals need to be acquainted with recent developments in the medical industry. Not just in the wake of a pandemic, but always. Technology and experience go hand in hand while practicing medicine and an open eye and mind are required to embrace new options, both online and offline.