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Abstract

Background: Medical student involvement in clinical care of obstetrical emergencies is limited. Wearable technology, namely Google Glass, has been used to enhance the simulation experience for trainees at our institution. We present a pilot study that examines the utility of this technology in medical students’ education through remotely-conducted exercises in obstetric emergencies.

Materials & Methods: A total of thirteen medical students accepted the opportunity to participate in an obstetric emergencies training exercise with remote monitoring. Students wore the Google Glass device while participating in two simulated obstetrical emergencies: shoulder dystocia and vaginal breech delivery. A remote instructor monitored the students’ performance and gave verbal instructions during the simulation. Students then filled out a questionnaire grading the effectiveness of the exercise.

Results: Of all participating students, 55% reported Glass extremely valuable for their education. None reported it as not being valuable. 15% reported that Glass distracted them in their simulation activity. 100% of participants reported it being more than “successful" in its potential to improve emergency obstetric care. 55% reported that Glass or a similar device is “extremely likely” to be incorporated into medicine. None reported that it is unlikely to be used in the future of medicine.

Conclusions: Wearable technology has the potential to provide improved learner experience. This technology can be successfully used to provide student exposure to simulated emergencies. Further studies evaluating the participation of students and other learners in simulated obstetrical emergencies are needed to determine how effective wearable technology can become in medical education and ultimately patient care as well.

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