Milestone Integration Supports Student Learning at St Andrews University Medical School

Milestone Integration Supports Student Learning at St Andrews University Medical School

Milestone Systems, an open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has provided the underlying technology for an integrated new learning technology system called MedVu - a ground-breaking video capture system for medical students enrolled at the University of St Andrews School of Medicine.  

MedVu enables St Andrews’ medical students to record, delete, share, bookmark and present video evidence of key practical medical experience in the areas of clinical and communications skills. This video evidence forms part of the portfolio that all UK medical students need to gather during their seven-year training to become practicing doctors. MedVu is also being used by the school’s post graduate researchers to gather and analyze evidence to support important medical research projects.

MedVu is based on a customized integration of Milestone XProtect Enterprise open platform IP VMS, XProtect Transact and XProtect Smart Client. Milestone Certified Partner King Communications worked closely with Milestone’s professional services team to complete both front and back-end system customizations.

The system monitors and records simultaneously up to 46 clinical skills practical exams carried out at separate ‘bed head’ bays. All bays are monitored by high or standard definition pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) network video cameras from Axis Communications . They are viewed on two large monitors in the school technician’s room where instructions can be relayed via individual speakers to each of the bays. All bays are fitted with integrated microphones for simultaneous audio and video recording. 

The front-end system created through the Milestone XProtect Smart Client is very easy to use. Students can set the bay’s own PTZ camera to the location needed, enter their MedVu username and password, start and stop recording -  all via a simple touchscreen display over the bed head. This enables students to carry out ‘guided study’ tasks in their own time without the need for a teacher or technician to be present. They view and select their recorded clips, choose the best video clip and move it into their evidence portfolio. 

Cameras are also installed in six interview rooms that are set up like doctors’ offices. These are used to help medical students learn key communication skills such as building rapport, gathering medical history and specific symptom information from actors posing as patients. Video evidence saved by MedVu in these sessions is assessed in a classroom environment with peers and teachers as part of the learning process. 

Julie Struthers, Learning Technology Consultant at St Andrews University School of Medicine, said, “MedVu enables our students to build and secure a comprehensive video portfolio which proves their practical capabilities in key clinical and communications skills. Students can bookmark sections of video – noting good practice and areas of improvement for the future. MedVu is now integrated into our Galen Curriculum Management System.” 

King Communications & Security Ltd is the certified Platinum Milestone Partner who installed the system. They built the highly secure web portal which enables students to view and compile their videos. Milestone’s professional services team created a batched export process enabling the videos to publish to the web portal within an hour of recording. Access to MedVu is restricted to enrolled students only. 

Martyn King, Managing Director of King Communications, concluded, “We’ve designed and developed a unique integrated solution from scratch, working with Milestone, integrating with the university’s Active Directory and with its Galen Curriculum Management System database. The MedVu system proves that the benefits of Milestone XProtect open platform VMS extend well beyond the traditional security applications for which it was originally designed.”

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