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MANUSCRIPT: The Smartphone in Medicine: A Review of Current and Potential Use Among Physicians and Students

Abstract
Background

Advancements in technology have always had major impacts in medicine. The smartphone is one of the most ubiquitous and dynamic trends in communication, in which one’s mobile phone can also be used for communicating via email, performing Internet searches, and using specific applications. The smartphone is one of the fastest growing sectors in the technology industry, and its impact in medicine has already been significant.

Objective

To provide a comprehensive and up-to-date summary of the role of the smartphone in medicine by highlighting the ways in which it can enhance continuing medical education, patient care, and communication. We also examine the evidence base for this technology.

Methods

We conducted a review of all published uses of the smartphone that could be applicable to the field of medicine and medical education with the exclusion of only surgical-related uses.

Results

In the 60 studies that were identified, we found many uses for the smartphone in medicine; however, we also found that very few high-quality studies exist to help us understand how best to use this technology.

Conclusions

While the smartphone’s role in medicine and education appears promising and exciting, more high-quality studies are needed to better understand the role it will have in this field. We recommend popular smartphone applications for physicians that are lacking in evidence and discuss future studies to support their use.

via The Smartphone in Medicine: A Review of Current and Potential Use Among Physicians and Students.

Brian S McGowan, PhD

Written by

Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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