Gulf Medical University’s Virtual Patient, secures Gold at QS MAPLE 2021 Education Awards

Gulf Medical University’s Virtual Patient, secures Gold at QS MAPLE 2021 Education Awards

Wharton-QS Reimagine Education Steering Committee, after three rounds of independent judging and three rounds of internal moderation, the project by Gulf Medical University, “Using AI and High-fidelity Simulation in Health Professions Education”, was awarded Middle East GOLD Winner.

QS MAPLE 2021 promotes the development of higher education in the Arab region and Africa in the global context, with the goal of stimulating international partnerships and supporting the processes of institutional evaluation and upgrading.

This year’s theme ‘The Future Today: Sustainable growth towards 2030’ was the focus on the significant changes have been made within the education systems of the Arab and African regions with further advancements planned. MAPLE 2021 – Arab region and Africa looked at the next ten years of innovations in the region, and how they can sustainably grow towards their targets for economic and societal prosperity.

Virtual Patient Learning, a unique educational innovation, was selected by 200 judges from projects submitted by 1400 entries by academic institutions from across 72 countries at the conference.

First of its kind in the region, the application exposes medical and health professions students to 60 different patient problems involving males and females of different age groups and ethnic backgrounds. Gulf Medical University’s Chancellor, an international authority in medical education and developer of VPL, Professor Hossam Hamdy, said: “The ‘Virtual Patient’ uses artificial intelligence to create an authentic patient simulation through which students interact with patients which guides their learning and develop their reasoning and boost their communication skills used with the patients who later send feedback about their experience.”

“It also helps students build a strong rapport and communication with virtual patients in the future, and receive feedback from the patients”

The problem-based learning (PBL) application invokes critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and communicational skills amongst students by giving them authentic medical problems presented by virtual patients including history and clinical examination, investigations, lab results, vital signs, X-rays, and interaction with virtual patients to obtain information that would help them correctly identify medical problems of each case and prescribe treatments.

In VPL, Learning takes place through the interaction with the patient during which students are not given information but given the opportunity to look for the information that will help them come up with a diagnosis then decide a treatment.

Professor Hamdy indicated that ‘This achievement is an evidence that UAE educational institutions are now not only users of up-to-date technology but producers of innovation and technological creative solutions”.

Gulf Medical University (GMU) is a leading medical university in the Gulf region offering Medical and Health Professional Education in the field of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Anesthesia & Surgical Technology, and Medical Imaging Sciences. GMU offers postgraduate programs in Toxicology, Public Health, Clinical Pathology. In addition, the university also offers Short Term Certificate Courses for Health workforce development and career enhancement. GMU differentiates itself having its own network of Thumbay hospitals, clinics, and institutes. To know more about the University please visit

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