March 10, 2017
AO Interact, an interactive peer review and discussion video platform for surgeons has launched. AO Interact is a direct, surgeon-driven platform allowing surgeons to upload and manage their own videos supported by additional content, add comments at any point within each other's videos and get an AO community-based peer-review of their uploaded assets.
This new video platform enables surgeons to interact with like-minded people within the AO community, exchange knowledge with subject matter experts in their specialty, enhance resident's education, discuss and perform polls based on their individual topics.
From a blank piece of paper to a meticulously planned, surgeon-tested, interactive video platform: that’s how far the new AO Interact project has come in just three years, with leadership from the AO Education Institute and support from the AO Strategy Fund (AOSF).
AO Interact advances the AO Foundation’s mission to achieve more effective patient care worldwide by providing a valuable, surgeon-driven platform through which surgeons can interact and educate. That interaction and education ranges from sharing and discussing educational videos following AO surgical principles to accessing lectures, webinars and webcasts.
One of the AO Interact project leaders Robin Greene said AO Strategy Fund support made the project possible.
“We probably would not have been able to take on this project without the AO Strategy Fund funding,” he said. “This support gave us the opportunity to do something of great value by creating a platform for the exchange of knowledge throughout the AO’s global network of surgeons and further enhance resident's education.”
Among the biggest milestones in bringing AO Interact to life was perfecting its user experience (UE), after months of intense discussion with the surgeon community and meticulous planning.
“In order to ensure the most intuitive, friendly and accessible UE, it was essential to precisely define what the surgeon community wanted that experience to be. So, for every user action—whether it was clicking a button or asking a surgeon a question about a particular point in a video—we thought-mapped all their critical steps,” Greene explained. “Often, the simplest of websites are the most complex to construct, but it was very important to us to provide a site that delivers the absolute best exchange of knowledge and expertise based on the surgeon's needs.”
Once the UE was fully defined, Greene and AO Education Institute Manager e-Learning Ruedi Elmer chose an external partner—iBROWS (since acquired by PwC)—to design the AO Interact digital experience, and brought in AO Education Institute Project Manager eLearning Michael Henke as project manager. Providing expert insights into design, look, feel and website interface was Alex Kallivroussis, AO Communications and Events Manager, E-Communications and Publishing.
Project leader Elmer explained, “AO Interact is unique in its intuitiveness and functionality. One particular function not found on any comparable site allows the user to add a "timeline comment" to a video. A timeline comment is a comment that is tied to a particular moment in the video, for instance a question about a step in a procedure, which can be added with a simple click of a button. The surgeon who uploaded the video then clicks on the comment and is taken to the related section of that video and discussion thread where they can add their answer. ”
That feature—and others—underscore the attention the AO Interact team gave the UE.
“Our senior surgeons are extremely busy, and functions that advance interaction while saving them time are extremely valuable. The AO surgeon community can simply log on to AO Interact with their AO Foundation login."
Support from across the AO community helped make AO Interact a reality, Elmer added. “The trust the surgeons placed in us is an honor. They have experienced how carefully we use our resources and the attention we brought to AO Interact” he said.
Project manager Michael Henke said AO Interact demonstrates the value that AO Strategy Fund funding delivers to the global AO community in terms of innovation initiatives that advance and achieve more effective patient care.
“I think this is one of the very first extremely technically complex projects supported by the AO Strategy Fund, and we were successful in carrying it out from start to finish,” Elmer said. “I am proud of that.”