OSU Uses Hand-held Technology To Strengthen Patient Care
With the use of portable media players, medical students at The Ohio State University Medical Center can now carry the equivalent of heavy textbooks and medical references in their lab coat pockets.
The portable media players are part of the current technology making it easier for medical students at OSU to navigate classroom lectures and clinical duties with patients.
Justin Harper, a third-year medical student, saw the Apple iPod touch and helped launch a program for OSU medical students. The Ohio State University College of Medicine is the only college currently using the iPod touch to give to all its students for educational purposes.
"The iPod touch has the potential to positively impact both medical education and the care provided to patients at the bedside," said Dr. Catherine Lucey, vice dean for education. "The personal digital assistant puts a wealth of information at the fingertips of our students. They can study when they want and where they want. If they are seeing a patient and a question arises, they can find the answer instantly, to share with them."
This hand-held technology can provide graphics, which allow students to refer to resources such as high quality images of each organ and nerve in the body. They can review images from multiple angles, access videos of medical treatments or surgical procedures, and request a review quiz at any time. In addition, detailed photographs on portable media players can help patients identify their current medications and immediately obtain a list of all potential drug interactions.
Over the next two years, each Ohio State medical student will receive a standard iPod touch, equipped with specific medical software programs planned by the OSU College of Medicine.
According to Lucey, this effort continues OSU Medical Center's leadership in the use of technology to improve the quality of education and patient care.
"We are committed to providing our students with the best tools available, to help them provide outstanding patient care," said Lucey. "I am delighted that OSU Medical Center is on the cutting edge of a trend that will undoubtedly expand to medical schools across the country."
The Ohio State University College of Medicine also provides podcasts of medical school lectures, making all lectures and medical school curricula available on line, for review at any time. Students have access to the most recently published research articles and the current medical literature.