A small Israel Defense Forces unit is reinventing medical training in the Israeli military, developing the first interactive curriculum for IDF medics. The unit is replacing textbooks with movie clips and scannable barcodes that provide access to interactive content online. Its unique methods have deepened the knowledge of IDF medical experts, providing them with cutting edge tools to save lives on the battlefield.
Screenshot of a training video from the interactive training school
Lieutenant Eliran Peled, a commander in the IDF’s Medical Corps, created the training program with an emphasis on creative, out-of-the-box thinking. “We understand that today people need experiences in order to learn,” he explained to the IDF Blog. “Everything needs to be unique and experiential. Otherwise, the material isn’t memorable.”
With the help of other commanders, Lt. Peled collected advanced medical training materials and pooled them together into a YouTube channel. The unit’s videos, which are publicly available online, are filled with lessons and explanations on a variety of medical topics. They make the materials highly accessible, clear and up-to-date. Nearly every video features a short recap as well as a quiz.
The interactive training school even uses computer games that simulate medical emergencies in real-time. The games require soldiers to determine which tools to use, how much time to spend on procedures, and how best to evacuate victims in battle. One simulation features a mission to locate and treat two wounded soldiers on an evolving battlefield.
At the end of the simulation, the trainees receive an evaluation report and feedback from their commanders, including an analysis of all their decisions and procedures throughout the game.
The course has been such a success that institutions outside of the IDF have made use of its materials. “We’ve created the largest Hebrew-language database if its kind in the field of medicine,” Lt. Peled said. “We even have materials on subjects like child resuscitation, which are less relevant to the IDF than civilian medical services.”
The unit’s tools are available to the general public, and Israeli civilian services like the Department of Education and Magen David Adom have even used its materials. Thanks to the interactive training school, hundreds of medics, doctors and other medical professionals are better prepared to face the challenges ahead, wherever they may be.