The Use of Smartphones and Mobile Clinical Decision Support Systems in Clinical Clerkships: A Pilot Study

Angel Schols, Jeroen Donkers, Manuela Voorend, Daniëlle Verstegen, Henk Hoogland, Pieter Kubben


Smartphones and Mobile Clinical Decision Support Systems (MCDSS) could help to overcome information overload and support physicians in providing up-to-date medical care. However, would smartphones and MCDSS also be useful for medical students during their clinical clerkships? In this prospective pilot study eight students were asked to use a smartphone during their daily clerkship activities and specifically to evaluate a basic MCDSS. Students were asked to fill out a short survey and exit interviews were conducted. Most students found the smartphone, especially access to the internet, a useful tool during their clerkship. Some students thought that the internet was an easier accessible information source compared to many applications. Several students were not aware of any high-quality applications and most students were not willing to pay more than ten Euros for such an application. In the opinion of most students smartphones should not be used in the presence of a patient. Students expressed a desire for more basic content in the tested MCDSS. In conclusion, smartphones can be a useful tool for medical students during their clerkship. MCDSS for medical students should be designed to their needs. Further research is needed to guide MCDSS development specifically targeted at medical students.


Decision support; E-learning; Mobile; PDA; smartphone

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) – eISSN: 1865-7923
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