Barakha Jain’s vision of bridging the gap between technology and healthcare motivated her to pursue a master’s degree in health informatics at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at IUPUI. Jain (pictured above, right, with Tabitha Hardy, AVC Graduate Education, left) recently put that vision into practical use with her 3-Minute Pitch (3MP) competition topic, “Development and Evaluation of a Special Care Teledentistry OSCE, Involving Visually Impaired Patients”, which resulted in her winning runner up.
She chose Luddy IUPUI for its accreditation and reputation, and says the IUPUI graduate program is very broad and competitive, enabling students to explore their hidden talents.
For her pitch, Jain drew on her work as a Community Engagement Assistant under Professor Stuart Schrader at the IU School of Dentistry. The School has been partnered with Standardized Patients living with visual impairment—the BOSMA Community—for nearly a decade, performing Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) as a simulation study. OSCE assesses second-year dental students abilities to address the patient treatment needs by evaluating their communicative practices and skills.
The pandemic necessitated a pivot from Face-to-Face (FTF) to remote assessment modalities such as teleconferencing. Consequently, Schrader’s group initiated a study to understand any differences between how dental students perform FTF or remote/online OSCEs, in particular with those patients who are visually impaired. The results showed that achievement was lower during teledentistry as compared to in-person due to unclear explanation and stereotyping. Therefore, further training of the dental students is required.
“This gave me an opportunity to be a part of the research that will prepare the dentist of tomorrow to not just use teledentistry but also to build a human-to-human connection through teledentistry,” Jain said.
The 3-minute pitch competition at IUPUI, held during the Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals (PFFP) Annual Pathways Conference, is for master’s level students. Jain said it was an enriching experience. “To be honest, it was very challenging to concisely capture the huge amount of research into a three-minute pitch. However, with timely guidance and assistance from mentors of the Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals (PFFP) team, it was seamlessly conquered. Also, it was rewarding to learn and grow from other participants and their diverse experiences. It also gave me a chance to meet and greet various disciplines of informatics,” Jain said.
“If an individual like me, who has always been paranoid with large gatherings, was able to pitch my thoughts on stage in just three minutes and win it, I firmly believe if I can win it, you can too.” Jain also encourages others to find the purpose of the work they do and the rest will follow.
Following graduation, Jain will be embarking on a career as a product analyst for the Healthcare IT company, Clinical Architecture, where she hopes to strengthen her research and technical skills and “innovate more robust technologies that will push (her) closer to her goal.”