In a world where society’s inevitable adoption of technology has made it possible to completely reinvent how we communicate, socialize and learn, healthcare is no exception. McGraw and Lee may seem like cutting edge futurists, but they are just two unique stories of the many healthcare professionals turning to technology to improve quality of care. 45% of clinicians now use smartphones and tablets to collect data at their patients’ bedsides. In fact, nearly all healthcare IT professionals report that their organizations supply mobile devices to clinicians to support day-to-day work activities, and 2 out of 3 have an official mobile technology plan in place.
We’re not just seeing technology being used in patient care, medical education is going digital as well. In 2012, for example, 40% of practicing physicians in North America were using online Continuing Medical Education (CME) to satisfy their annual requirements, up dramatically from 18% in 2005. By evolving the way that we deliver medical education, we are seeing real potential to in turn evolve the way we heal, treat and give care. Here are the four reasons why technology will continue to transform medical education and thus, the face of healthcare this year.
Some studies indicate that as much as 80% of physicians have implemented mobile technology approaches in providing patient care, improving ease in communication, data-taking and the sharing of information. With mobile devices already in their hands, healthcare professionals will have greater access to a ripening ecosystem of digital medical education, unify their working life with their continued pursuit of knowledge.
The million-dollar question: are online CMEs as effective as their traditional in-class counterparts? Available research suggests yes, especially in terms of enhancing the learning experience in the medical sector. Put it this way: we now have a robot that can virtually enable a doctor to do her rounds from across the world. We have the technologies, and it does seem as though the ability to create online education that is as engaging, as involved, and as impactful as in-classroom learning, is very real. In some cases, achievement levels stand to be superseded because of a greater access, a superior method of information exchange, and more tools to facilitate collaboration with peers.