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Medical Schools Council & Ocasta launch CAPSULE app to help all UK medical schools adapt to remote teaching

4.05.20

The Medical Schools Council, in partnership with Ocasta, is providing access to CAPSULE, an online learning app designed to support UK undergraduate medical student learning. CAPSULE was developed by Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), with work led by Professor David Howlett. Ocasta were commissioned to transfer Capsule to an App based resource. The Medical Schools Council is sponsoring CAPSULE for all UK medical schools to use free of charge.

UK medical students are expected to meet the high standards set by the regulator, the General Medical Council (GMC), before they are able to graduate. Medical schools have therefore adapted to online learning methods and are working together to ensure that medical education continues during these unprecedented times.

The partnership with Ocasta is an example of the commitment medical schools have made to working together. CAPSULE contains over 670 clinical cases which are mapped to the GMC’s Outcomes for graduates and linked to more than 3500 questions across 39 disciplines. In the space of a few weeks, volunteers from across UK medical schools, with expertise in various specialties, helped to review the entire content library to ensure accuracy and maximise learning. This was no small feat and required hundreds of hours of volunteers’ time outside of their regular educational and clinical duties.

Online resources are transforming traditional methods of learning. CAPSULE continues to follow this trend by providing:

• Real-world medical examples - which helps teach students the behaviours they require as doctors - the investigation, diagnosis, and management of health issues.

• Personalised learning – CAPSULE allows medical students to self-direct and personalise their learning, such as creating their own quizzes to test their knowledge.

• Convenience – the platform has been designed with convenience in mind and is available in apps for Android, iOS and the web, allowing students to learn in less restricted settings including the ability to work offline.

• Expertise – the content in CAPSULE has been built up by Brighton and Sussex Medical School over the past 12 years and has benefited from a rolling process of core review, case editing and selective case additions most recently from expert clinicians and educators across UK medical schools.

Feedback from medical students has been overwhelmingly positive. Of those surveyed, 87% of students agreed that CAPSULE had helped them to achieve their results with 100% of users finding it a useful tool for revision.

On the new relationship with CAPSULE, Dr Katie Petty-Saphon, Chief Executive of the Medical Schools Council, said:

“Continuing medical education is critical in ensuring our students graduate as safe, competent doctors who meet the high standards we expect from our medical professionals. Utilising technology not only allows learning to continue but it provides opportunities for innovation and will undoubtedly evolve traditional methods of education.

“It is heartening to see how both medical schools and their students have quickly adapted to new methods of learning in these difficult times. We look forward to working with Ocasta to help support this process.”

Professor David Howlett, Consultant Radiologist at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and Honorary Clinical Professor at Brighton and Sussex Medical School said:

“To support distance undergraduate medical learning during this crisis, CAPSULE, developed by BSMS in partnership with Ocasta, is now free at the point of use to all medical students across the UK. The latest version of the platform has been newly edited and tagged to the recently published GMC Medical Licensing Assessment content map and will support medical students in their learning across all specialties.

“This launch has been the result of a tremendous amount of work and close collaboration between the BSMS team, Ocasta and the Medical Schools Council with invaluable input also from colleagues at Imperial College London Medical School and a team of volunteer medical school editors from across the UK.”

On the development of the app, Tim Vincent, Learning Technologist at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said:

“We wanted to give students the opportunity and convenience to study anytime and anywhere, across all devices and platforms, fitting into students’ digital habits and current preferred choice of device.”

Ben Collier, Product Director at Ocasta said: “CAPSULE's case-based learning helps students prepare. We’ve been able to adapt quickly through guidance and collaboration between the Medical Schools Council and quick action from the medical schools themselves.”

All UK medical schools are able to access CAPSULE as members of the Medical Schools Council from 1 May 2020. The Medical Schools Council is sponsoring access until March 2021 as part of its response to support medical schools during the pandemic. For more information on CAPSULE, visit https://ocasta.com/work/capsule.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

1. The Medical Schools Council is the representative body for UK medical schools. The council is made of the heads of UK medical schools and meets in order to shape the future of medical education and research in the UK. For information about the work of the Medical Schools Council, please see www.medschools.ac.uk.

2. Ocasta is an employee-focused technology agency on a mission to transform how people work! Boosting knowledge, compliance and performance with employee apps, tech and tools. Ocasta has helped the likes of Next, Virgin Media, Argos, JISC, The IPA and Vodafone transform the performance in their organisations. For information about their work, see https://ocasta.com/

3. Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) is an equal partnership between the Universities of Sussex and Brighton together with NHS organisations throughout the South East region. It achieved a 96% satisfaction rate in the national student survey. For more detail, please see https://www.bsms.ac.uk/

4. For more information on this press release, please contact Fahmida Yasmin, Senior Communications Officer, on 020 7419 5430, or Fahmida.yasmin@medschools.ac.uk.

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