App to keep an eye on docs who nod off during special lectures

Aug 07, 2018, 07:30 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Software to monitor doctors' retinal movement and fail them if their attention dips below 70%

App to keep an eye on docs who nod off during special lectures
The software, titled Omnicuris, will only work on devices with a front-facing camera. Representation pic

Doctors, when it's your turn to take a mandatory online refresher course, make sure to keep your eye on the screen, because the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) is keeping a close 'AI' on you. To ensure medical practitioners don't cheat, the council has introduced AI technology capable of facial recognition and tracking eye movements.

The futuristic system will only work on devices that have a front-facing camera, as doctors won't be able to log into their account until the system scans and recognises their face. There are as many as 1.4 lakh registered doctors in the state, each with an individual account on the MMC software, called Omnicuris. Once they log in, they can attend virtual classrooms with pre-recorded videos of conferences, as per their specialisation.

Plenty to learn
The purpose of the software is to keep medical practitioners up to date on new medical inventions and innovations. In 2010, the Indian Medical Council had made it mandatory for doctors to earn 30 credit hours to renew their licence to practice every five years.

The hours can be earned in various ways and through programmes organised for doctors to update their skills. But it was observed that senior doctors or those practising in rural areas failed to attend the seminars. To address this issue, MMC came up with the online classrooms, so doctors could learn at any time, anywhere.

"Doctors need to update their knowledge of advanced technology and medicine. That is why the Continuous Medical Education (CME) option was introduced. Now, we have put it all online," said Dr Shivkumar Utture, president of MMC.

Attendance and attentiveness
It's not just the attendance, but also attentiveness that will count in this hi-tech system. To ensure that doctors sincerely attend the classes and absorb the knowledge imparted, the MMC and state government launched Omnicuris, which can track every single eye movement.

"This software will not only help doctors to attend the conferences online, but also check if they are paying attention with the help of the eye-retention rate system. This feature has the capacity to record all eye movements. So, if a doctor isn't paying much attention to the videos, this software will detect it. If their attention rate goes below 70 per cent, s/he won't earn the hour and will fail," added Dr Utture.

Keeping an eye
Minimum level of attentiveness to pass

No. of credit hours doctors need to renew licence

No. of years between licence renewals

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