iMedEd: the role of mobile health technologies in medical education

Mobile health (mHealth) technologies have recently seen surge in attention due to their potential to transform the delivery of health care. This enthusiasm is due in part to the near ubiquity of smartphones and tablets among clinicians, as well as to the stream of mobile medical apps and devices being created. While much discussion has been focused on how these tools will impact the practice of medicine, surprisingly little has been written on the role these technologies will play in medical education. In this commentary the authors describe the opportunities, applications, and challenges of mHealth apps and devices in medical education and argue that medical schools should make efforts to integrate these technologies into their curricula. By failing to do this, medical educators risk producing a generation of clinicians underprepared for the changing realities of medical practice brought on by mHealth technologies.

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