During UC Irvine School of Medicine’s white coat ceremony, all incoming medical students will find a nice surprise inside – an iPad loaded with their curriculum.  We just recently reported how Stanford is doing the same thing, and UC Irvine is joining the party.  UC Irvine appears to have a more comprehensive plan for the utilization of the iPad in medicine, as detailed in their press release.

The wireless, 16-gigabyte, 3G iPad features hundreds of medical applications; note-taking and recording capabilities; and many other tools to complement various learning styles. Students will be able to view short, topical lectures via podcast prior to meeting for small-group discussion. Not only do archived lectures make better use of faculty members’ time, they also facilitate interactive and self-directed learning.

Additional content includes course outlines and handouts, slide presentations and essential first-year textbooks in a digital format that allows highlighting and notation. Students will have access to audio and video libraries as well as podcasts. And technological advances such as digital stethoscopes and handheld ultrasound units are currently being configured.

What’s interesting is students will be given the 3G version of the iPad, not just the Wi-Fi version. The school has planned a wide range of uses for the iPad in medicine. They have plans to sync the iPad with stethoscopes and even ultrasound machines!  For my white coat ceremony I was given a book – how things have changed in just a few years. Continue on for the rest of the press release.

A second technological advance being incorporated into the curriculum on a pilot basis is the digital stethoscope, about a dozen of which are available for the incoming class. With applications on the iPad, students will be able to listen to a patient’s heart while simultaneously recording its tones and then compare them to a library of more than 3,000 heart sounds characteristic of specific conditions to gain a better understanding of cardiac physiology and pathology.

UCI also aims to be a national leader in training medical students to use handheld diagnostic ultrasound devices, which could become a standard tool in the “black bag” of future physicians. To do this, the School of Medicine is working with diagnostic ultrasound maker SonoSite Inc., which has committed nearly $3 million to integrating the technology into the medical school curriculum.

These highly sensitive ultrasound units offer an effective, noninvasive way to examine inside the body, said Clayman, a pioneer in developing minimally invasive, laparoscopic and robotic techniques for urological surgery.
Eventually students will be able to use their iPads to peruse video tutorials as they perform bedside ultrasounds and preserve a patient’s ultrasound for later review and consultation with supervising faculty members.

Source: UC Irvine Press Release