Adhara, a spin-off of CINTESIS – Center for Health Technology and Services Research, has launched HarriFlash, a portable support app designed to help medical students get ready for the most dreaded National Seriation Exam (PNS in Portuguese) that defines the order in which newly medical graduates will choose their specialty. This year the exam is schedule for November 16.
Launched for free for iOS and Android, at a crucial time for the lives of near 3,000 medical students across the country, HarriFlash has already logged more than 2500 downloads, reaching the top of educational application tables in online stores.
Bruno Guimarães and José Miguel Diniz, researchers from the In4Health group, from CINTESIS, came up with app idea following the work they developed in the field of Medical Education, which includes a Doctoral Program, based on the close contact with students, and several scientific articles published in journals such as Anatomical Sciences Education and Acta Médica Portuguesa.
“Medical students spend 14 to 15 months studying for the National Seriation Exam. The problem is that they study on their own, without any official support regarding the contents to address and with little feedback on the evolution of their performance,” explains Bruno Guimarães.
In order to revert this paradigm, the new application, called HarriFlash, includes five modules, dedicated to the fields of Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Pulmonology, Nephrology and Hematology, which are subject to evaluation in the National Seriation Exam.
“The topics are divided into flashcards (small ‘cards’ with key ideas or important phrases) and in previous examination questions to simultaneously allow the trainees to learn new concepts and to measure their understanding,” explains the researcher José Miguel Diniz.
To make the study more efficient, an algorithm was created that adapts the content to the knowledge demonstrated by each user. This allows the trainee to focus on what he/she does not know yet and, at the same time, reduce the time devoted to study a subject. Thereby, the app allows the user to test and consolidate the study in an interactive, simple and effective way, with immediate feedback.
For the creation of Harriflash, Adhara also had the support of the companies Cosmicode and Conversas do Harrison, which worked in the development of the app and content preparation, respectively.
The CINTESIS spin-off is now collecting the opinions and suggestions of students and developing new content and new features, promising constant updates and improvements. The goal for the future is to fill a gap in the area of medical education by providing products that can help students, health professionals and professionals from other areas in teaching and learning processes.