Future doctors get free digital learning resource from BSMS during COVID-19 crisis

The quiz-based mobile app and learning platform CAPSULE consists of over 690 medical, surgical, and therapeutic clinical scenarios, spanning the entire undergraduate curriculum and providing detailed feedback to help students learn from their decisions. The cases also include relevant diagnostic images and blood results to make cases more realistic, all provided in an engaging quiz format. 

Launched to BSMS medical students in 2016, the app received positive feedback and formed a significant complement to clinical placements. Now, courtesy of the Medical Schools Council, this unique learning resource is being made freely available to all UK medical schools during this critical time, until March 2021, and 90% of schools have taken up the offer so far.

Tim Vincent, Senior Learning Technologist and Project Coordinator at BSMS, said: “The absence of clinical placements across the country presents a real challenge for students and course leads. Before the current crisis, several other medical schools in the UK and abroad had taken up CAPSULE for their students. When all medical schools were forced to halt clinical placements, it made sense to share the resource during this difficult time to support their students’ new way of learning. We firmly believe that CAPSULE, offered free to students via their medical school, provides a unique and valuable learning opportunity for our future doctors, especially at this time.” 

Creating a high-quality digital learning resource has taken years of development, starting from student feedback followed by vast input from local clinicians writing and editing content to keep it accurate and aligned to the curriculum. 

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.”

Professor David Howlett, Honorary Clinical Professor, BSMS, and Consultant Radiologist at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, led the project at BSMS, working with Ocasta Studios, a Brighton-based digital solutions company. Professor Howlett said: “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.”