Thursday, August 12, 2010

iPad Becoming Standard Equipment At Med Schools


The Apple iPad, initially perceived as a beautiful consumer gadget must have, has transitioned into a serious business and education tool.  Stanford School of Medicine has just announced that incoming students in the Class of  2014 will get an  iPad as part of their welcome kit.  The School cited that:  “iPad allows students to view and annotate course content electronically, facilitating advance preparation as well as in-class note-taking in a highly portable, sharable and searchable format.”

Even though the school has admitted that they don't really know how the students will be using the iPad, there's no question that the device will offer flexibility in accessing so much information for students, from class to lab to viewing multi-media and evidence based data.  Once students get used to working in a certain way with technology, it's  likely to be a part of their working life in a medical institution or private clinic.  The sheer mobility offered by the iPad allows the physician to be more efficient, offer a personalized service to patients and even, more interactive using the multimedia capabilities of an iPad in a friendlier environment.  

UC Irvine School of Medicine is also following suit with free iPads for students but providing additional content including: course outlines and handouts, slide presentations and first-year textbooks in a digital format that allows highlighting and notation,  access to audio and video libraries as well as podcasts. And technological advances such as digital stethoscopes and handheld ultrasound units are currently being configured.

At last, perhaps the medical industry might be catching up with technology, efficiencies and ultimately, better patient care.  As for Apple, the iPad is a real game changer in so many ways.  And this is only the beginning of a new computing revolution that will see other hardware manufacturers follow rather than lead. 

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