The Future of Medical Education Looks a lot like Netflix: Interview with Brian Conyer, CEO of GIBLIB (MedGadget)
GIBLIB, named after Dr. John Heysham Gibbon, the revolutionary surgeon that invented the heart-lung machine, is an online streaming platform that provides medical professionals with access to high-fidelity, immersive 360-degree virtual reality (VR) video content of current medical topics and surgical procedures. The videos closely emulate the operating room environment, including camera angles from the surgeon’s point of view, and feature expert physicians at leading academic medical centers.
The company’s content provides students and medical professionals around the world with access to a wide variety of medical lectures and surgeries from places such as Stanford Children’s Hospital and the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Besides the clear educational benefit for medical students, the service also allows physicians to stay up-to-date on the latest and most advanced surgical procedures being practiced.
GIBLIB recently announced a partnership with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to deliver the first ever Continuing Medical Education (CME) accredited course filmed exclusively in 360-degree virtual reality. On the heels of this, we are excited to feature an exclusive interview with the co-founder and CEO, Brian Conyer.
Mark O’Reilly, Medgadget: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Can you start by telling us about the gaps in traditional medical education that are being addressed by GIBLIB?
Brian Conyer, GIBLIB: Video is one of the most powerful learning tools. It is scalable. You can easily update its content, publish it on-demand, and track its success. Lastly, it is very cost-effective. Medical information and technological innovation continue to evolve and compound at an unprecedented rate, yet the way the information is created and communicated remains stagnant. Knowledge sharing at a global level is a major challenge, but our team is confident that we can create studio-quality content and deliver it seamlessly anywhere and anytime to medical professionals worldwide while also keeping up with the overwhelming pace of demand. With our medical center partners, including Cedars-Sinai, we are building the largest library in the world of both CME-accredited medical lectures and surgical procedures with expert narration in 4K Ultra HD and 360 virtual reality.
Our innovative approaches to creating and delivering content will help ease the burden of costly travel, conference fees, and lengthy scheduling obstacles that many medical professionals currently face while addressing continuing medical education requirements. We strongly believe that everyone should be able to learn from the best, and that is why we will provide a level of access to the foremost experts in the field that the medical community has yet to experience.
Medgadget: How were these issues brought to your attention?
Brian Conyer: I’ve worked in healthcare for over ten years, and have seen first-hand how physicians struggles to stay up-to-date on the endless amount of information that they are required to master. The reliance on print publications, websites with antiquated user-interfaces and user-generated videos from YouTube further heighten the frustrations of all medical professionals. I also took notice of the growing knowledge gap in medicine between the developed world and the economically poor regions of the world. These are all reasons GIBLIB aims to be the dedicated online destination for medical education with global accessibility similar to the way Netflix is the go-to content platform for online entertainment.
Medgadget: What sorts of challenges are faced when recording in the operating room, and how do you go about addressing those challenges?
Brian Conyer: Our team films surgeries and medical lectures on a daily basis thanks to our strong relationships with six of the top ten medical centers in the US. To respect the operating room environment, we have developed an unobtrusive filming technique that gives us very few challenges when recording surgeries. GIBLIB’s mobile studio equipment fits in a single backpack complete with Bluetooth-enabled, battery-operated, light-weight 4K cameras that capture the best angles and deliver studio-quality video experiences. Our angles include physicians’ points-of-view and digital overlays, such as patient imaging and laparoscopic and robotic camera feeds. In addition to offering immersive 360-degree virtual reality views of procedures, our videos feature the performing surgeon’s narrations that provide key insights into his or her critical thinking during each step of the surgery. Surgeons we collaborate with often tell us they forget they are even being filmed.
Medgadget: What is unique about the experience provided by GIBLIB?
Brian Conyer: Historically, many companies have relied on user-generated videos directly from physicians. GIBLIB is the only company that has successfully captured high-quality 4K and 360-degree virtual reality content that is as close to being present in the OR as possible. In addition, rather than the 5-10 minute highlight reels of the surgery that currently exists, we provide more comprehensive 30-60 minute videos with expert narration throughout the entire surgery. Our medical student viewers often joke with us that we provide a better experience than actually observing physically in the operating room. And our goal is exactly that: to create and deliver this digital educational experience in an equally engaging and informative manner as actually being present in the OR.
Medgadget: How receptive have medical institutions been to this idea?
Brian Conyer: We’ve seen a tremendous acceptance from the community so far. We are partnered with six of the top ten medical centers in the country. Medical schools and residency programs have adopted our platform. We regularly partner with medical societies to capture and stream their conferences. Most recently, Cedars Sinai accredited 25 hours of the content we filmed with the organization’s surgeons as AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits. And this is just the beginning.
Medgadget: So what does the future look like for GIBLIB?
Brian Conyer: As mentioned earlier, GIBLIB will be the dedicated online destination for medical video content from the top subject matter experts and leading academic medical centers. The medical community will benefit from our global accessibility and continuously growing library of content, created with studio-like quality and streamed on-demand in the highest quality available.
Related announcement: First Accredited Continuing Medical Education Course Filmed in VR…
Mark is a Master’s candidate in the Biomedical Engineering program at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Guelph, with a focus on biosignal processing and instrumentation. Mark developed an interest in neuroimaging during an internship at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. His research focuses on comparing the effects of paradigm choice on variability in functional magnetic resonance imaging.