More than half of medical students are mobile first

A recent survey of U.S. medical students shows that 53 percent of those that prefer digital sources turn to a mobile reference first to answer a clinical question.  

According to the survey, 54 percent of medical students currently use a tablet as part of their medical training--a whopping 31 percent increase compared to 2012 results. Nevertheless, only 18 percent of medical students in the survey, from more than 200 medical schools, were required to use tablets in training.

The survey found that the top tasks performed on tablets by medical students were: looking up clinical data, accessing patient records, and communicating with colleagues and physicians. In the survey, 82 percent of medical students said they would recommend health-related apps to future patients. 

Conducted in July 2013, the online survey of more than 1,000 medical students from all 50 states revealed that 44 percent of medical students are "digital omnivores," which are defined as people who use a tablet, smartphone, and computer routinely in a professional or academic capacity. 

"The effective use of all platforms of technology allows medical students to deliver better and more efficient patient care," app developer Epocrates stated in the announcement of the results for their 8th annual Future Physicians of America survey.

In related news, a recent study of third-year German medical students published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that mobile augmented reality can significantly increase the attractiveness of mobile learning applications in medical education, compared to traditional textbook learning.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- read the survey report