Renowned Artificial Reproductive Technology Specialist, Professor Oladapo Ashiru, has predicted a revolutionary transformation in the way medicine is taught and practiced in the near future. Speaking at the 17th Horatio Oritsejolomi Thomas/61st Founder’s Day Lecture of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Professor Ashiru highlighted the pivotal role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital innovations in this imminent transformation. His lecture, titled “Transforming Healthcare and Medical Education Through Digital Innovations: From AI-Assisted Interventions to Edutech,” shed light on the profound impact of technology on the medical field.
The evolution of medical education
Professor Ashiru embarked on a journey through time, tracing the evolution of medical education from its earliest days of exploration and discovery. He emphasized the significant advances made in medical knowledge and technology over the years. From ancient practices to modern medical breakthroughs, the field of medicine has continually evolved, and the integration of technology has been a driving force behind its progress.
The inevitable integration of digital technology
In his address, Professor Ashiru unequivocally stated that digital technology has firmly embedded itself in the realm of medical education, and its influence is here to stay. He expressed a compelling belief that within the next five years, the way medicine is taught will undergo a profound transformation. This transformation will be underpinned by the utilization of Artificial Intelligence and various digital innovations.
The role of AI in medicine
AI, in particular, was singled out as a transformative force in medical education and practice. Professor Ashiru noted that AI’s applications are far-reaching, extending from diagnostic assistance to personalized treatment plans. The ability of AI to process vast amounts of medical data and draw insights from it has the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery. AI can assist healthcare professionals in making accurate diagnoses, predicting disease outcomes, and even recommending tailored treatment options.
Digital innovations in reproductive medicine
Drawing from his expertise in Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART), Professor Ashiru highlighted how this branch of medicine has swiftly adapted to technological advancements. He emphasized that ART has greatly benefited from the digital invasion, which has led to improved success rates and outcomes. The application of technology in reproductive medicine has transformed it from being a niche specialty into a cornerstone of the medical profession.
A journey through the evolution of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Professor Ashiru took the audience on a journey through the evolution of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) as a medical specialty. He traced its origins back to the pioneering efforts of Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards in 1976. IVF, once derided, has now become a source of pride within the medical profession, with numerous successful practitioners in Nigeria and Africa.
Commemorating a legacy
The event was graced by the presence of the Honourable Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, who represented the Chief of Staff to the President, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Special Guest of Honour. Dr. Alausa expressed gratitude for his education at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, and commended the institution for its role in shaping his career as a medical doctor.
A glimpse into the future of healthcare
The Honourable Minister emphasized the relevance of the lecture theme to the goals of the Federal Ministry of Health. Digitalizing the healthcare system is a key agenda item, aimed at strengthening the healthcare sector, unlocking its value chain, and reorienting healthcare as a social and national security priority. He assured Nigerians that the government is committed to making the Nigerian healthcare system more efficient, with technology as a vital ally.
Celebrating a legacy of excellence
The lecture series, named in honor of the late Prof. Horatio Oritsejolomi Thomas, commemorates a Nigerian medical pioneer who specialized in facial reconstructive and plastic surgery. Prof. Thomas mentored generations of doctors and was a passionate advocate for medical education. His legacy of service continues to inspire excellence in the field of medicine.
Professor Oladapo Ashiru’s insightful lecture serves as a testament to the transformative power of technology in the field of medicine. As digital innovations, including AI, continue to shape medical education and practice, the healthcare landscape is poised for significant change. The event not only celebrated the legacy of Prof. Horatio Oritsejolomi Thomas but also highlighted the commitment of institutions and professionals to embrace technology for the betterment of healthcare in Nigeria and beyond. With the convergence of medicine and technology, the future of healthcare promises to be brighter and more innovative than ever before.