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Mobile devices in health education: current use and practice


The increasing amount of new scientific information made available by computers and the Internet is demonstrated by the growing number of available health sciences journals. Medical students, nursing students, those in other health science disciplines, and clinicians need to make information more manageable and accessible, especially at the point of care. Technological advances are available to assist them in keeping up with more information than what was accessible to their mentors. In this report, we examine technological advancements and Internet technologies, particularly mobile devices that are currently available to educators and students. We review these advances with respect to how they (a) deliver content, (b) serve different purposes in the classroom and beyond, (c) play different roles in a health sciences student’s learning experience, and (d) make available a variety of resources to teachers. These innovations are broadly categorized as mobile technology, Web 2.0 innovations, Learning Management Systems/e-Learning, and medical simulations. Educators and learning institutions must be equipped for the future and maintain proficiency in the ever-expanding world of human medicine by adopting effective strategies that will infuse their lessons with the appropriate technology and allow their students to achieve their maximum potential. Given all these, we believe that the future of the health student and professional will be in mobile computing.

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This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine (NLM), and Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHNCBC).

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Correspondence to Paul Fontelo.

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Ducut, E., Fontelo, P. Mobile devices in health education: current use and practice. J Comput High Educ 20, 59 (2008).

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  • Mobile technology
  • Handheld devices
  • Health education
  • Web 2.0 technologies
  • Social networking
  • e-Learning
  • Medical informatics