Halamka: Native mobile apps will improve user experience for med students

In a recent post to his Life as a Healthcare CIO blog, John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Memorial Center, offered his insight into mobile device use at Harvard Medical School. The biggest takeaway: Get ready for more native mobile apps.

Halamka shared that 89 percent of teaching faculty at HMS are mobile users and 97 percent of HMS students in their clinical years own a smart mobile device. Apple is the preferred brand within HMS, where 70 percent of teaching faculty that have a mobile device use an iPhone, in addition to 64 percent of students.

What's more, Halamka noted that while the school attempts to support both platforms (23 percent of students have Android devices), HMS implements Apple devices first. Such devices, he said, are "easier to support due to their consistent configuration and predictability, especially around security management."

In slides referenced in the post, Halamka showcased development efforts to include a native mobile app to track patient encounters. "Native apps provide a better user experience, so HMS has created an iPhone native app for use by clinical students who need a more responsive user experience in areas with slow internet connections," he said.

The Android version of the app will be launching later this year, he added.

Organizations such as Johns Hopkins Medical School have been trying their hand at app development. Yet even if academic centers aren't currently developing their own apps, mobile platforms are increasingly integrating into coursework to great student fanfare.

To learn more:
- read Halamka's blog post
- here's the slideshow