by Thomas Berger
eBrain was successfully developed within 24 months by a small but effective lead team (S. Shorvon, S. Thompson, H. Cock, T. Berger, K. Hardy-Smith), representing the unique partnership of the UK Joint Neurosciences Council, the University College of London, the ENS and EFNS, and, most importantly, an exceptionally large number of more than 400 European module editors and session authors. On September 11, 2011, eBrain was launched at the 15th EFNS Congress in Budapest and on November 25, 2011, at the Royal College of Surgeons in London.
eBrain, described as “a revolution in medical education and neurosciences” (1, 2), represents with currently more than 550 e-learning sessions the largest, most comprehensive web-based training resource in clinical neurosciences, and can support both training and continuous professional development. eBrain is truly a multimedia facility: it features videos, still images, formative assessment questions, mouseover texts, audio and case scenarios. Users can self-select which modules to do, or make use of learning pathways being designed to reflect the needs of specific learning groups. eBrain access is for free for EFNS members and partner organisations, individual passwords can be received via the EFNS website (www.efns.org). More than 5000 individual users have been already registered within the first three months after the launch of eBrain.
eBrain is expected to continue to grow. Thus, the challenges for this further maturation are manifold. In spring 2012 an eBrain “business” board and office was established to meet the increasing logistic and administrative demands (user accesses, advertising, contacts to potentially interested societies and organizations, pricing and billing, etc.). To further develop eBrain contents more sessions, improved learning pathways, virtual patients / case of the month, and practice MCQs will be included. Currently, initiating the process of CME accreditation has highest priority for the eBrain lead team. With this regard it will be of utmost importance to now finalize peer-reviews for all sessions. This will require a sustained effort for EFNS Scientist Panel chairs as it was agreed that EFNS Scientist Panels are responsible for peer-reviewing allotted current eBrain sessions as well as monitoring those (together with eBrain module editors) for content maintainance and updating (including integration of e.g. EFNS guidelines). As a consequence another meaningful aim will be to establish eBrain as the relevant curriculum for the European Board Examinations.
Thus, this unique e-learning program bears the potential to merge European expertise and teaching competence in a European gold standard for learning and continuous medical education in the clinical neurosciences.
If you wish to learn more about eBrain you are cordially invited to the dedicated eBrain session on September 9, 2012, at the 16th EFNS Congress in Stockholm.
1. Holmes D. eBrain brings e-learning revolution to the neurosciences. Lancet Neurology 2012; 11:126-127.
2. Dassan P. eBrain and a distance learning diploma in clinical neurology – a revolution in medical education. Adv Clin Neurosci Rehab 2012; 12:34-35.
Thomas Berger is Chairman of the EFNS e-learning Sub-committee and Chairman of the EFNS CME Sub-committee. He is Professor of Neurology at the Medical University in Innsbruck, Austria.