Wits looks at the father of medicine, Hippocrates, to help it navigate the use of artificial intelligence in the health sector.  

The Centre for Health Science Education hosted a focus day on July 19, at the Parktown Education campus which looked at the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in health care and health science training.  

The day created a space for discussion and participation around the theme of the day “From Hippocrates to AI.” Hippocrates was the father of medicine, who described many diseases and their treatment in a scientific manner. 

AI has significantly advanced in medicine; and it has improved medical image recognition better than humans when it comes to things such as X-rays. 

Shirra Moch, the organizer of the event said the purpose of the day was to make the academic community feel at ease with AI being incorporated in education.” Our aim with this session was to demystify for lecturers the use of AI in health science education and give them a hands-on experience to fight the fear of not knowing what it involves.” 

They looked at three topics:  ‘Induction to AI in health science’ which looked at the use of AI in the health science education; ‘Curating resources to encourage student learning’ this focused on how students can incorporate AI in their learning to enhance critical thinking and ‘Academic integrity and the role of AI in authentic assessment’, which examined how AI chatbot such as ChatGPT can be used in a way that students do not plagiarize, this was facilitated by Jannus Van AS the academic and blended learning coordinator. 

Richard Cooke gives shares his thoughts on the focus day and gives action points. Photo: Aphelele Mbokotho

Van As said, after reading on Instagram that lecturers put students’ assignments on ChatGPT and ask if the student wrote the paper or not. He decided to put his work that he had written onto the chatbot and asked it if he had written the paper and ChatGPT said yes. He explained that he realized that ChatGPT recognized his paper from the questions he asked. Van AS emphasized that it’s important to know the right way to prompt it so that students work is not discredited unfairly.  

Nabeela Sujee, coordinator of the simulation activities looked at the use of replicas in health science education. Simulation is a way in which they replicate a real-life environment; for example, a simulation lab is created to look like a hospital theatre.  

Sujee said, “These simulations are achieved through tech-enhanced mannequins that can breathe spontaneously, have heart, lung and abdominal sounds which makes the student not need feedback from the facilitator but get it directly from the mannequin.” 

She further explained that they cannot use these mannequins all the time, so sometimes they us CHATGPT, where they ask it to pretend to be a patient and the student asks it questions to arrive at a diagnosis. 

One of the attendees and the head of family medicine and primary care at Wits, Richard Cooke said incorporating AI in their teaching and learning is beneficial for students especially in the clinical space, where the use of ChatGPT helps with facilitating the class; and helps students work by themselves without needing a facilitator.  

FEATURED IMAGE: Shirra Moch, the organizer, takes action points from the attendees. Photo: Aphelele Mbokotho