Aston Pharmacy School leverages GenAI in education, enhancing student training with virtual simulations for real-world readiness. 

SimConverse is a simulation software that uses artificial intelligence. It was introduced in the academic year 2023/2024. The aim is to prepare students for real pharmacy work by mimicking common situations in hospitals and community pharmacies. Students can interact with virtual characters to practice important skills like taking drug histories and talking about illnesses.

This software was made with help from those who provide student placements. It addresses the needs of students starting their professional training. Working with placement providers has made the training more efficient. Students can now adapt faster to their roles, helping out more and reducing the need for training from the providers. Natalie Lewis, an associate head at the school, mentioned that SimConverse has improved students’ skills in consulting and boosted their confidence.

SimConverse can be accessed from anywhere, allowing students to train whenever they want. This flexibility is a great addition to traditional teaching and simulations. It offers a variety of patient scenarios, helping students to improve their communication skills.

Professor Anthony Hilton, a senior figure at the university, mentioned that SimConverse fits well with Aston University’s goal for digital and innovative education. This initiative is part of a larger trend in healthcare education that uses technology to improve learning and skills development. This trend includes virtual reality programs by the Personalised Care Institute.