Using new teaching techniques, like body painting and body projection, Universidad del Valle de México is integrating innovation into its School of Health Sciences. The use of body painting and other related technological resources are emerging as an alternative to the complex process of using bodies for the study of health sciences. The technology will be applied in August when the university starts its next academic semester. Body painting and body projection have also been successfully used at Universidade Anhembi Morumbi, a member of Laureate International Universities in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
UVM will complement their curricula with the technique of body painting and projecting images and animation onto the bodies of models in anatomy classes. This educational innovation was inspired by a project in 2002 at the Peninsula Medical School (United Kingdom), which was the first school to begin using alternatives to cadavers to teach anatomy. Through these techniques, students can visualize human anatomy in proportion and each system of the human body can be represented with any of the above techniques on the body of a living person. "Replacing the use of bodies is a worldwide trend and when the technique is applied with scientific rigor, the results are excellent," say Anhembi Morumbi professors. The aim of these techniques is to promote practical experience in the methodology of the New Anatomy and innovative resources for teaching the structure and function.
Another increasingly common strategy in the course of health care is the use of simulators and computers with modern software that allow students to perform virtual procedures. The machines, which cost between $80,000 and $300,000 USD show different body functions like breathing and heart rate, as well as simulate different emergency situations like cardiac arrest. Instructors can manipulate the responses of the simulation from a control room and display those results as they might change in real life. For example, the heartbeat can vary from hour to hour, or throat and tongue swell, depending on the clinical situation to be studied.
Dr. Soledad Santiago, UVM’s Director of the School of Health Sciences, mentions that the use of these new technologies is consistent with the strategy of the School of Sciences Health which is to provide a set of programs supporting the interdisciplinary development of students through programs that respond to the country’s current public health challenges with information and technology based training based. "We have to provide the skills for tomorrow’s professional who will be active and will be productive throughout their careers and we have to teach them to become lifelong learners," she concluded.
According to doctors who have worked with these resources, one advantage of this technology is that they allow training procedures to be repeated as many times as necessary until the student gains the necessary practice to be a highly trained health professional.