Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Academic wins innovative scientific award 2020

Dr. Julián Varas, co-founder of the UC Simulation Center, was recognized for his work in transferring practical skills. He has recently been applying the methodology remotely in the framework of the covid-19 pandemic. This award is granted by the Ministry of Sciences and the University of Los Andes.

UC doctor and academic, wearing a white cotton cloth, shows on his cell phone the application he created to do remote medical simulations.
photo_camera Dr. Julián Varas was one of the three recognized with the 2020 Innovative Scientific Award, since C1DO1 (technology) facilitates the transfer of practical skills remotely and asynchronously, but at the same time the data can be analyzed and allows the generation of algorithms that will help to understand how to automate a teacher and probably arrive at an artificial intelligence .. Photo: César Cortés Dellepiane.

Professor Julián Varas was one of the three professionals who was awarded the recently awarded Innovative Scientific Award 2020 due to his career in applied research and with impact on real markets. The academic did his undergraduate degree in UC Medicine, devoted himself to studying simulation in medical-surgical procedures, specialized in general surgery, and today he is the alternate director of the Simulation Center of the Catholic University.

“Our team became an expert in transferring practical skills, then we applied the methodology remotely and that has been extremely useful and necessary in the pandemic and post-pandemic times,” says this academic from the Department of Digestive Surgery .

“Our team became an expert in transferring practical skills, then we applied the methodology remotely and that has been extremely useful and necessary in the pandemic and post-pandemic times” – Julián Varas, academic of Medicine.

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Since 2010 he has been researching simulation and how to transfer practical skills That same year he co-founded the UC Simulation Center, where together with his work team he demonstrated that going through a simulation program allows first-year general surgery residents to have better surgical techniques.

The training was successful, even having students from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. But the problem is that the students had to travel to Santiago to acquire the skills. At that time the team wondered if it was possible for them to reach different parts of the world and the answer was yes. To achieve this, they had to create C1DO1 (acronym for “See one, do one”) and take advantage of the simulators available in different countries.

With the C1DO1 platform, they received the UC training program and the knowledge of a teaching network capable of providing the necessary feedback for students to acquire psychomotor skills. “Unlike traditional E-Learning, C1DO1 has allowed us to transfer practical skills remotely and asynchronously and today we can teach the Catholic University of Surgery courses to more than six countries in the world.”

Julián Varas and his team realized that if they can teach surgery remotely and asynchronously, they could do the same with other areas of health. Thus they began to take courses around the coronavirus and then to occupy the platform to teach undergraduate and graduate.

“We have more than 40 courses on different health careers, more than 4 thousand active users, we were able to train health professionals in different regions of Chile despite the pandemic, and we are expanding even outside the health area” – Julián Varas, academic of Medicine.

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“Today, this platform is growing exponentially: we have more than 40 courses set up for different health careers, more than four thousand active users, we were able to train health professionals in different regions of Chile despite the pandemic , and we are expanding even outside the health area ”.

It is in this framework where Dr. Julián Varas was one of the three recognized with the 2020 Innovative Scientific Award, since C1DO1 (technology) facilitates the transfer of practical skills remotely and asynchronously, but at the same time the data can be analyzed and allows to generate algorithms that will help to understand how to automate a teacher and probably arrive at an artificial intelligence.

“I am very happy, as the award helps to make this project better known, which has the potential to show us how to optimize future learning, especially in technical skills and not just in medicine. I am also very grateful for the constant support of the Catholic University, which has allowed this transfer to have a well paved path towards an emerging market ”, says the academic.

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