iPad 2 a boon to Weill Cornell Medical College students

By Molly Merrill
03:27 PM

First- and second-year students at Weill Cornell Medical College are being provided with new iPads, which will be synched with EMRs for training during their clerkships.

The iPad 2 will serve to replace students’ printed course notes and texts allowing them to download course materials, see video or hear audio recordings of lectures, submit electronic course evaluations, access their grades and collaborate with other students.

"I am very proud that Weill Cornell is one of the first medical colleges in the country to embrace this technology," says Carol Storey-Johnson, senior associate dean of education at Weill Cornell Medical College. "The iPad will open a world of new learning opportunities for students and dramatically expand the way we train and educate a new generation of physicians. "

The devices will also help students prepare to be clinicians in the electronic age. Going forward, there are plans to have students' iPad tablets synched with electronic medical record systems for training during their clerkships.

"With an iPad, it will be easy to keep personal and patient records updated in real-time as you're meeting with the patient, checking reference information, and even looking up body-scan images on the fly, while making rounds," says, Weill Cornell student Vinay Patel, who was part of a pilot group that tested the device during the spring 2011 semester.

“Along with being an amazing educational tool, the iPad tablets will give students an advantage as the healthcare industry increasingly embraces electronic systems," added Jason Korenkiewicz, assistant dean of education administration at Weill Cornell Medical College, who helped to spearhead the movement to iPad devices. "The paperless iPad is also a green alternative, saving about 2 million pages and copies without being any more expensive."

"What's so exciting about this technology is that it reinforces learning and retention of information through a variety of multimedia," Korenkiewicz says.

For instance, students will use interactive apps on their iPad tablets to see animated 3-D molecular models of different proteins and compounds. The device's advanced graphics allow students to view molecular structures with depth, rather than as a flat illustration on a sheet of paper, helping them to better understand how the structures function in the body.

An app called "Unbound Medicine" is a medical database for diseases, medications and diagnoses. Such reference applications give students the ability to have the most up-to-date medical facts and findings with them at all times, and without lugging around heavy printed materials.

For dermatological training, images from a scope can be transmitted wirelessly to a group of iPad devices in the same room. And for radiology training, students can load scans on their iPad tablets and easily access the images wherever they go.

"Some of us were apprehensive about how the iPad would fit into our learning model, but the response has been extremely positive and quickly won over several of the students who were resistant to changing their study habits,” says Patel.