Background Medical apps are being increasingly used by students and doctors as an education and reference tool during their medical placements. However, it is unclear whether these apps are successful in helping student learning and development on a Paediatric placement.
Objectives To evaluate the success of medical apps currently used during Paediatric rotations and identify from the literature whether they are successful in helping student learning. Recommendations can then be made for what a future Paediatric medical app should include to be successfully implemented for medical student attachments.
Methods PubMed, Medline and Cochrane were searched using Major MeSH terms to identify papers relevant to the question. Inclusion of studies was based on whether papers included evidence of medical app usage by participants whilst on a medical placement. A survey was produced to gain insight into what medical apps were used by students and what would be expected on any future Paediatric app. These findings along with the literature would assist in making recommendations for this Paediatric app.
Results 27 papers were included in this review. Three papers were identified that studied apps specifically in aspects of Paediatrics. Overall, the studies showed that medical apps were an effective education tool by medical students during clinical placements. Survey results showed that medical apps were used by 43% of participants and 97% would like a Paediatric medical app to assist their learning during a Paediatric placement.
Conclusions Further long term studies are required to see the effects of medical apps in learning. More studies are also required to show how medical apps are beneficial for learning specifically during a Paediatric placement. A future Paediatric app should include concise information regarding common Paediatric conditions and have a simple design for quick use in practice.
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