Editor’s note: This is part one of a series we are running on Inkling.

If you have been a regular reader of iMedicalApps.com, then you will have heard of Inkling, the interactive electronic textbook company.

If you haven’t, then allow me to introduce you to one aspect of the future of medical education.

Inkling has enjoyed a meteoric rise since their humble beginnings in 2010, and we are a massive fan of their body of work. In the first of this series on Inkling, we are going to look at their company profile and the impact they are making in the medical education sector.

Inkling was launched on 25 August 2010 by Founder and CEO, Matt MacInnis with the release of Inkling 1.0 for iPad. Since then they have released version 2.0, and amassed a quality library of over 30 popular medical textbooks.

Their initial premise was simple: redefine the future of learning content. The means by which they chose to do this was by reinventing the textbook to take advantage of modern technology and the vast range of media available to significantly change the way students approach learning.

In Matt MacInnis’s own words:

“The textbook-centered, professor-centered learning process takes the fun out of the journey. To truly enjoy our work, we need the autonomy to explore the topic at hand and chart our own course to intellectual satisfaction”

Matt’s own initial experiences with textbooks came as a result of 8 years spent working in Apple’s own education department where he explains:

“We had to reinvent this physical, static, heavy textbook that everyone was still using and replace it with something that was more dynamic, something that connected people rather than isolating people from one another, something that was way more akin to the way that students spend their lives outside the classroom everyday anyway, and that’s really what we’re trying to build with Inkling.”

Since their initial launch, Inkling has gained a significant number of publishers to work with including the likes of Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Wylie and W. W. Norton. By January 2012, they plan to have released 31 medical titles covering a range of modalities such as Anatomy, Clinical Skills, Neuroscience, Physiology, Pharmacology and more. For a full range of medical titles available in January 2012, please see the screenshot below.

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Inkling is strongly motivated by the high cost of textbooks which often act as a barrier to entry for many students. This is a theme we have noted at iMedicalApps.com where good apps are often overpriced. Inkling aims to overcome this by offering individual chapters for sale, Inkling explains. Overall, this means students pay less and get more for their money whilst the publishers and author both get better deals too.

Inkling has identified a new market created by the introduction of tablet computing and has ensured their success as a result of clever thinking and unique selling points. Unique features such as purchasing books by chapter and integrating a range of media into each text are very interesting and the release of Inkling 2.0 has brought about social integration. Inkling makes textbooks from the ground up for the iPad.

When creating a new textbook, they take all the content, the additional extras and any other media that often comes bundled with a new textbook and rebuild the book electronically, integrating all the additional extras and adding a handful of Inkling interactive flair. The result is an electronic textbook based on a real book but for all intents and purposes is far more accessible and easier to learn from. Inkling is continually building and developing new ideas for electronic content delivery which will no doubt lead to some very exciting future developments.

In the next part of this series, we shall take a look at some of the features offered within electronic textbooks developed by Inkling and how they are revolutionizing electronic content delivery. Below is a video that demonstrates the platform.

Inkling website: