Based on a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, as the iPad is being utilized for as an indicative procedure direction, injection-based procedure planning, and mobile analysis and reading of some imaging studies, the overall majority of radiology residents are using the tablet first and foremost as an educational tool.
"Some sectors of the medical community consider the iPad to be a revolutionary tool in health care delivery, with many use scenarios focused on medical imaging. The purpose of our study was to assess residents' use patterns and opinions of the iPad as a tool for radiology education and clinical practice at an academic medical center," said the study’s co-author, Justin W. Kung, M.D.
A grand total of 38 radiologists residents in the radiology department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston were given iPad 2 tablets and subscriptions to e-Anatomy and STATdx. Over a six month time frame of employing the device, residents were requested to hand in their judgment and evaluation of the tablet technology to better understand its practical use in medicine and clinical practice.
Of the 38, 36 radiology residents expressed their opinions regarding the tablet. Eighty-six percent reported daily iPad use. Radiology related applications, specifically e-Anatomy, were utilized quite frequently, usually on a weekly or daily basis by 88 percent of respondents.
Furthermore, many resident radiologists preferred to read journal articles on the iPad, however the number of respondents preferring to read textbooks on the iPad as opposed to the traditional bound form was split down the middle.
Radiology residents were also split on the clinical employment of the iPad. A good amount decided not to use the iPad when it came to viewing radiologic images in the diagnostic stage. In addition a little less than half utilized their iPads during readout. And only 12 referred to using the iPad when called to sign prescribed reports and analyses.
"The impact of the iPad on the daily clinical duties of radiology residents in our study was limited, but residents at our institution have adopted the iPad to view electronic journals and use radiology-specific applications. The full impact of this device on resident education will depend on the development of applications that harness the unique ability of this medium for training the next generation of radiologists," said Kung.