Osmosis is a web- and mobile- learning platform that uses evidence-based learning science principles to drive health and medical students' knowledge retention. We currently specialize in medical education - students can create and gain access to tens of thousands of questions, flashcards, and teaching videos, but Osmosis is much more than an online library of resources. Similar to evidence-based medicine, we believe in evidence-based education. Our team includes PhDs in neuroscience & education, practicing clinicians, and medical students who have built research-proven cognitive techniques into the Osmosis platform to maximize learning and retention. These include test-enhanced learning, spaced repetition, memory anchors, collaborative learning, the Fogg Behavior Model, and gamification, which all complement our robust content recommendation engine. In addition to being featured in the bestselling book, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (p 245), Osmosis has published peer-reviewed papers (www.osmosis.org/institutions) and is actively engaged in research with a view to improving education delivery, including a cross-institutional study with UIC and UCF on its intelligent formative assessment system - this is being funded by a Stemmler Grant from the National Board of Medical Examiners.
In our paper in the high-impact Annals of Internal Medicine, “What can medical education learn from Facebook and Netflix?” we described a vision for the future of education. After lamenting that the tools that our future clinicians use to socialize (Facebook) and watch TV (Netflix) are managed by more sophisticated algorithms than the tools they use to learn medicine, we decided to build Osmosis so that we could bring data-driven recommendations and experiences to our future clinicians. Osmosis analyzes what the students are learning in class and generates custom quizzes and recommendations that help them simultaneously prepare for school, board exams, and most importantly clinical practice. By solving the problem for medical education, we believe Osmosis can also be applied to many other fields of education.
Currently, there are two major problems in the delivery and learning of medical education, The first problem is that there is an overwhelming amount of critically important content to be delivered in medical school. In fact, learning in medical school has rightfully been likened to trying to drink water from a firehose. The second problem is that medical students utilize incredibly ineffective learning techniques such as cramming. To make things worse, there are essentially 3 different curricula that students need to learn in med school - and they don't always overlap much if at all. Medical students require clinical knowledge to work with our patients, class knowledge to do well on shelf exams, and an often entirely separate set of knowledge to pass our board exams. Osmosis' goal is to allow our future clinicians to be able to learn more efficiently and enjoyable: we consolidate these 3 curricula, and use evidence-based learning principles to drive long-term retention of what students need to know.
We know that strong performance in medical school is correlated with strong performance as a clinician. Osmosis demonstrably improves knowledge retention, thus in the long run we are confident that it will help to prevent medical errors and therefore improve patient outcomes.