Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States.*
No doctor is immune to errors. On a daily basis, doctors are required to retain and process massive amounts of information relevant to their job, making medical error a pervasive possibility.
Yet medical error can have serious consequences — the worst being patient death. As such, errors must be minimised as much as possible.
Knowing this, MEKSI founder Dr. Jawahar Thomas saw the need for a training tool that would allow medical professionals to train consistently, anytime, anywhere — therefore lowering the chance of committing a life-threatening mistake while diagnosing a patient.
Ideally, this new tool would be free of the limitations posed by traditional training methods, such as medical role play. Dr. Thomas saw the effectiveness of role play in training medical students to accurately diagnose patients. It is fun, interactive, and at par with global education standards.
Yet there are major drawbacks to relying on role play alone for diagnostic training. First, it is expensive, due to the need to scout and hire willing actors. Second, the involvement of human actors means that inconsistencies may be introduced at some point in the exercise.
Dr. Thomas found a way to avert these drawbacks by developing MEKSI (short for Medical Knowledge Simulator), a learning and assessment tool that creates virtual standardised patients (VSPs) using artificial intelligence (AI). Unlike human actors, VSPs are consistent in their output, yet remain realistic in terms of the case scenarios they present.
As a bonus feature, the non-judgmental environment of the MEKSI virtual may encourage users to practise more liberally sans the fear of being criticised for making wrong decisions.
In addition, the applications of MEKSI as an assessment tool range far and wide. MEKSI provides every user with a scorecard that provides instant feedback and objective assessment. Students and practicing doctors can use this feature to benchmark their skills and identify areas of weakness for further training. Medical recruiters can also refer to this scorecard for their assessment of candidates.
MEKSI’s commitment to patient safety began in 2016 with the granting of its first Australian Innovation Patent. In 2018, MEKSI received funding from Artesian Capital, and became an eligible ESIC (Early Stage Innovation Company), providing tax benefits to potential investors. Subscription packages will launch in the near future. Meanwhile, interested users can try a free case. MEKSI’s main office is located at 165 Ponds Boulevard, The Ponds, NSW 2769 (Phone: +61 2 9629 3732).
*Johns Hopkins University,2016.