terça-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2012

IPhone nas escolas médicas

No Lancet deste mes saiu essa informação sobre o papel do IPhone

“People want to use it, and it's easy to carry around.” Gareth Frith, Technology Enhanced Learning Manager at the University of Leeds, UK, is talking about the device that is changing the delivery of medical education at his institution: the Apple iPhone. His department's interest in mobile information technology goes back around 5 years. UK medical courses often involve attachments in district hospitals and whilst Gareth saw that smartphones could help students studying remotely, his initial work showed that “it was fairly obvious that the ideas were right, but the technology at that point wasn't up to the task”.
The iPhone changed everything. The medical school uses it in two main ways. The first is as an information resource. Students are given electronic copies of clinical handbooks and the British National Formulary. In the modern age, when white coats and their accompanying deep pockets are becoming a distant memory, this is an important function in itself. However, it's the second use—to support clinical learning—that I find most interesting. Gareth tells me that a dedicated app allows students to upload reflections on cases they have seen (with sensitive information removed) to an online portfolio in real time. Workplace-based assessments can also be completed on the spot by clinicians: in short, the iPhone is helping the medical school to provide consistent support for students, and to get them into good habits for the future: “The biggest challenge we've got as educators is to convince people to do things now rather than get to the point when they're applying for revalidation, and think ‘I wish I'd done that earlier.’ Because you can't actually go back and recapture that information.”
All fourth and fifth year medical students at Leeds are now issued with iPhones. They are given the option of adding pay-as-you-go texts and calls. Student response is generally positive: the teachers are more mixed in their views. Gareth thinks that the advanced voice interface on the iPhone 4S may help with acceptability to clinicians, since they will be able to dictate feedback rather than type it. As for the future, Gareth is developing educational use of the iPad and also dealing with a less technical, but no less important issue: “People are slightly sceptical about why a student is carrying an iPhone, so we've had some iPhone cases made, which say something like ‘Leeds University School of Medicine: This is a tool for my MBChB’. So they can turn it round and show people that it's not a toy or a personal device.” Where Leeds has gone, I suspect others will soon follow.

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