Smartphone, the New Learning Aid amongst Medical Students JC05-JC08
Dr. Monika Y. Gavali,
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College, Pune-411041, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: The use of smartphone is increasing day by day for personal as well as professional purpose. They are becoming a more suitable tool for advancing education in developing countries. Mobile access to information and many applications are successfully harnessed in health care. Smartphones are also becoming popular as an effective educational tool.
Aim: The present study was conducted to evaluate the use of smartphones as an educational tool amongst the medical students. The study also aimed at identifying the common medical application used by the students.
Materials and Methods: It was an observational cross-sectional study carried out amongst medical students of private medical institute in India. A validated 16 point, structured, open-ended, questionnaire regarding ownership and use of smart phones was self-administered to 446 medical students. Data were analysed using SPSS and open ended questions were analysed by summative content analysis.
Results: Among the study population, 96% owned a smartphone -Android based 72.4%, i phone 13.0%, Windows based Nokia phones 7% and Blackberry 3.6%. Common medical applications used by the students were Anatomy and Medical Dictionary in First MBBS; Medical Dictionary, Medscape and Google/Wikipedia in Second MBBS; and Medscape, Google/Wikipedia and Prognosis/Diagnosis in Third MBBS. More than 90% students, reported to have technological skills to use smartphones, for medical education, communication and instant access during bedside teaching. Advertently, 37.2% students felt if smartphones are used for clinical purposes, they will need to spend less time with patients. Almost 79.4% felt that smartphones should be introduced in MBBS course.
Conclusion: Smartphone use amongst medical students as learning aid for various medical applications is rapidly advancing. But it will be worthwhile to study whether use of smartphones has any impact on the grades of the students before introducing them in medical schools.