What Needs to Change in Education: An Entrepreneur’s View
Why would a medical company get into video gaming? Simple: Virtual environments give doctors a chance to practice and acquire new skills in entirely new ways, as Brainlab founder Stefan Vilsmeier illustrates in this DLD Munich talk.
“We as Brainlab digitize surgery”, Vilsmeier explains, comparing his company’s technology to a “kind of GPS system” that guides surgeons through difficult procedures.
But the old-school mindset of many practitioners is limiting the company’s success, Vilsmeier says.
“What is really most critical is finding a way of rewiring the brains of our customers to get them to adopt the technology faster, steeper, more effectively.”
This is true of any technology company, Vilsmeier argues. “How can you do growth hacking? How can you accelerate the adoption curve of what you’re doing?”
His own solution was to buy Level X, a mobile gaming startup that specializes in medical education with apps for doctors in various disciplines, such as cardiology, dermatology and pulmonology.
Brainlab now uses the gamified learning approach for its own products as well.
One example is training radiologists. “We have created this virtual environment that really enables us to […] take basically different tests and try different variations of the very same procedure”, Vilsmeier explains.
For NASA, Brainlab and Level X built a training tool that teaches astronauts how to perform ultrasonic examinations in zero gravity.
“It’s an example of how we can create a learning environment that you cannot create in the physical world”, Vilsmeier says.
To the Brainlab founder, there’s no doubt that this kind of interactive learning is the future – across all disciplines.
“Today, training is still one teacher to maybe 30 kids or one professor to 300 students”, Vilsmeier criticizes.
But getting a lecture “is the most ineffective way of learning”, he argues, because “the ability to try things out is crucial.”
Stefan Vilsmeier is the founder, president and CEO of Brainlab. Since its founding in 1989, Brainlab has evolved into an international leader in medical technology with over 1,400 employees in 18 offices around the globe. The company leverages 3D computer imaging to facilitate precision surgery.