Posts tagged technology adoption

Yale Medicine Gets iPads

When it comes to school, there is no denying the physical burden of paper in medical education. Taking into account just my first year course handouts, the textbooks, and references, I could easily stack a few feet worth of hardcovers, ink, and paper. 

Yale Medicine has decided that the jump to a zero-paper footprint of using the iPad is a worthy investment. As I have mentioned before, I am still a stickler for physical material but I can see the benefits of a digital curriculum. It is, to my knowledge, an idea that our very own faculty has flirted with in the past year.

There are many logistical hurdles that I can see with implementing something like the iPad: would they be given to students or rented? do you restrict access or not (e.g. games), and how do you coordinate the release of time specific information, especially in the context of PBL where each group moves at their own pace? These are all things that are difficult to consider. How do you ensure technology is used to its potential and used well to the benefit of a student’s education? It is still something that is up for debate; whether UBC decides to make a similar jump is a whole other story.

The burden of paper.
Despite the advances in tablet computing, I still very much prefer the feel and tangibility of writing on paper. Even growing up during the explosive growth of computers and the internet, I feel drawn to the now seemingly vintage technology that may one day also go the way of the dodos. It just feels right from a usability standpoint. Pointing, scrolling around on something that looks like paper, thin enough to be a chart but lacks the sensitivity of a pen still strikes me as odd.
However, adapting to new technologies has become second nature in this day and age. I am sure once I use it more and more, it will become as natural as writing. I can only imagine the difficulties an older generation of doctors have with emerging technologies like electronic health records. I met a doctor who never knew you could put reference software on a smartphone; another doctor swore off iPads and the like for their “unintuitive” interface. For a health care system trying to reduce the burden of paper via adoption of new technologies, the greatest barrier is ultimately still ourselves.

The burden of paper.

Despite the advances in tablet computing, I still very much prefer the feel and tangibility of writing on paper. Even growing up during the explosive growth of computers and the internet, I feel drawn to the now seemingly vintage technology that may one day also go the way of the dodos. It just feels right from a usability standpoint. Pointing, scrolling around on something that looks like paper, thin enough to be a chart but lacks the sensitivity of a pen still strikes me as odd.

However, adapting to new technologies has become second nature in this day and age. I am sure once I use it more and more, it will become as natural as writing. I can only imagine the difficulties an older generation of doctors have with emerging technologies like electronic health records. I met a doctor who never knew you could put reference software on a smartphone; another doctor swore off iPads and the like for their “unintuitive” interface. For a health care system trying to reduce the burden of paper via adoption of new technologies, the greatest barrier is ultimately still ourselves.