The Stanford School of Medicine recently announced that all incoming med students would be getting an Apple iPad because it, “creates opportunities for efficient, mobile, and innovative learning.”Now UC Irvine School of Medicine is following suit providing their med students with iPads loaded up with the first year curriculum. They say that the iPads will be pre-loaded with hundreds of medical applications, tools to complement various learning styles, and the iPads will facilitate interactive, self-directed learning.
Indeed they probably will. And if docs can learn better from iPads, why not patients?
Much of the health literacy problem relates to literacy itself. But many who may only read at a fifth grade level can comprehend audio/video instructions at a higher level and pace. Add in full-motion, color animations and those small-print patient ed brochures seem downright old-fashioned. Repetition has long been a key to learning, and while the doctor can only tell us about our high blood pressure once in our ten minute visit, having an engaging mini-tutorial that we can watch a few times and share with our caregivers would certainly enhance comprehension and retention.
So, should patients use an iPad to learn about their conditions, medications and risks of procedures? What do you think?