The Next Horizon in HTM and Imaging Education and Training
MedWrench recently interviewed the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology's CEO, William "Bill" Bassuk, to learn more about his thoughts on imaging education and training.
Tue Nov 16 2021
In what way is technology changing education?
Technology is revolutionizing education on a global scale. It would be easy to suggest COVID-19 and the effects of the pandemic were the causes, however, a great upheaval in education was already occurring at a rapid pace. Innovations, including the integration of Three Dimensional (3D), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, are fundamentally changing expectations and forcing changes to the industrial era perspectives that have shaped education in the United States.
We are fully embracing those changes and moving our college towards a more technically sophisticated organization capable of answering the demands of an emerging knowledge-based economy. This change places a much greater emphasis on outcomes than processes. The best example I can provide is our commitment to VR and 3D content development. Our team is actively developing 3D and VR content supporting both our biomedical and imaging programs. We are committed to continuing our investment into high-end technology and software and believe this will be an inextricable component of HTM education in the future.
What do you say to critics of Virtual Reality and other non-traditional methods?
Candidly, the criticism and skepticism oriented towards non-traditional colleges efforts to integrate technology such as VR, AR, 3D, and AI have forced us to hone our vision and mission. A common lament from many of our colleagues in the healthcare industry has to do with the limitations of online education, essentially, how can a student learn without hands-on training? To address the question, we have been placing students in structured internships which operate much like an apprenticeship program. Internships provide an opportunity for students to engage with employers in an operational environment and learn from seasoned mentors. Although this model has been highly effective, we believe that technology will allow us to do even more.
Medicine and education are going to be radically transformed over the next two decades. As an online college serving the healthcare industry, we really have no choice but to advance at the same pace. The struggle most educational institutions face, is keeping pace. Our goal, without question, is to try and keep pace with the technological innovations propelling the healthcare industry. My advice to the skeptics is to stop worrying and to embrace the technological advancements that are enriching our lives by improving both healthcare and education.
Can you tell us about your partnership with Medical Imaging Solutions?
Our most exciting initiative for 2022 involves the announcement of our partnership with Medical Imaging Solutions (MIS), a fantastic imaging company headquartered in Woodstock, Georgia. Medical Imaging Solutions recently celebrated 25 years in business and has established a national reputation as a leading service provider. There professional reputation as a national service provider and focus on research and education make them a perfect partner.
Our early meetings with Arnold Bates, President and CEO, and David Anthony, Chief Operations Officer at MIS, confirmed our initial impression regarding the quality of their team. Shortly after our initial meeting we approached our accreditation agency seeking special consideration and approval of our Imaging Academy concept, a 50/50 partnership between education and industry. Within a couple of weeks, we had obtained the necessary approvals. The result is the Imaging Academy, a first of its kind, partnership between industry and education. We are looking forward to welcoming our first students in early 2022.
What is different about the Imaging Academy from the other Training Providers?
The Imaging Academy represents a true partnership between education and industry. Accredited educational institutions typically meet with industry partners, annually, to discuss course objectives and program outcomes. Such meetings serve as steering mechanisms for educational institutions and a means of validating programs. By partnering with industry, we can better ensure that students completing our courses do so with the skills and knowledge demanded of our industry partners. Our objective is to ensure there is no light between us, partnership is critical.
We looked at a few different things when we decided to establish the Imaging Academy, including quality, return on investment for our students and industry partners, and how to better leverage technology. First, we did not want to simply replicate what others were doing, we wanted to innovate. I think we are achieving that with our unique approach to education. Secondly, we want to ensure students receive real value for their investment. Our partnership allows us to leverage existing capabilities to reduce costs and ultimately save our students money. Third, we are committed to leveraging technology – and I am not simply talking about providing zoom webinars to lecture students. We are leveraging the power of VR to deliver high-end training to our students. Lastly, Imaging Academy students will receive transcripts and earn college credits from the courses they complete. By formalizing and professionalizing imaging education and training we are building confidence in the program and strengthening the professional reputations of our course graduates.
What can students enrolling in a hybrid program expect?
Traditionally, students seeking to advance their careers into imaging spend a tremendous amount of money and time for a relatively short amount of hands-on training time. Although hands-on training will remain an important component of our programs, we are augmenting the training with virtual reality training which will allow our students to engage in training from wherever they are, whenever they want. By creating this sort of capability, students will have more time to obtain mastery, not less. At the Imaging Academy, students will engage in theoretical and experiential training weeks in advance of the hands-on training experience. Equally important, is that when students are at one of our two training facilities, they will spend most of their time engaged in hands-on learning, not sitting in a classroom. Such an approach the time students are away from work and lessons the burden on healthcare employers.
How can employers and students learn more about the Imaging Academy?
The quickest and easiest way to learn about the Imaging Academy is to visit our website at https://theimagingacademy.com, call one of our admissions coordinators at 844.879.9043, or simply e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s next for the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology and Imaging Academy?
We are experiencing profound change in healthcare and education. Our objective is to stay in front of that change. Technology is the big driver and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. As we look toward the horizon, greater emphasis will be placed on up-skilling and re-skilling the workforce. Achieving these goals will require us to stay engaged with the industry and understanding their specific needs. As their needs change, we can quickly adjust our curriculum to provide the specific training needed to meet the industry’s standard. This enables our students to become proficient at their craft and obtain employment soon after graduating from our school. Although traditional degree paths will remain valuable, we will see an increasing emphasis and demand for alternative “on demand” educational opportunities, such as those offered at the Imaging Academy. At the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology and Imaging Academy we will continue to champion innovation and technology.
To learn more about the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology, click here.