Umeå University is one of the largest teaching universities in Sweden with over 34,000 students, 3,400 of whom belong to the Faculty of Medicine. Back in 2015, the heads of the medical program wanted to improve group learning activities within anatomy and diagnostic radiology. The Sectra Table caught their attention due to its exciting methodology and useful visualization tools, which combine to make team-based learning easier.
It was obvious that the Sectra Table was a great tool for visualization.
Today, three Sectra Tables are located at different institutions where they are used, for example, to visualize and discuss anatomy. They are primarily utilized during classes, but students can also book the tables and use them on their own. Magnus Hultin, Associate Dean and former Medical Program Director at Umeå University, says, “It makes group discussions more meaningful since students can get together in smaller groups to talk about different cases. This is difficult to do in a more traditional setting. It is also a great complement to traditional dissections. They require a lot of expensive preparations, which makes them difficult to offer to all students.”
In combination with Sectra Education Portal, a subscription-based SaaS solution, teachers and students can access real patient cases along with other teaching content uploaded and shared from top institutions around the world. This is especially appreciated during courses in diagnostic radiology since it exposes students to images and tools used to diagnose, monitor and treat patients in real clinical practices.
Our students can now gather in groups at the university or from home and at the same time maintain social distancing. Something that will also be highly valuable after the pandemic.
Like many universities, Umeå University needed to adapt its teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since they already had access to Sectra Education Portal, they decided to scale up their use of the solution. Medical students can now access course material and an extensive library of real medical cases from their laptops or tablets, providing them with a wide variety of clinical content they can visualize and interact with. This allows them to continue following the syllabus and to prepare for their end-of-term exams from home.
Our pathologists are very pleased to have the possibility to display tissues digitally.
Umeå University also uses Sectra Education Portal to facilitate training in histology. The faculty previously relied on using boxes with hundreds of physical glass slides with tissue samples. Not only did this require the students and teachers to be present in person, it also involved a lot of maintenance. Attempts were made to digitize some of the glass slides, but the system for handling digital images was outdated and limited to specific computers. This made it difficult to access them in a smooth way. With the implementation of Sectra Education Portal, the process has become much easier, and students and teachers can now access tissue samples from anywhere, at any time.
Umeå University aims to continue improving its teaching activities. Ultimately, they want to end the dependence on having individual teachers at specific locations. Instead, teachers and resources would be shared across the whole region of North Sweden, providing the same availability for everyone. Equipped with modern tools, including Sectra Education Portal and Sectra Tables, they have come a long way in offering first-class medical education—regardless of location.