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UC Irvine medical students with iPads score 23% higher on exams; some are even making healthcare apps

by Doug Drinkwater

February 12 2013

UC Irvine students with iPads scored 23% higher on exams, according to the university's own figures
UC Irvine students with iPads scored 23% higher on exams, according to the university's own figures

The University of California has been using iPads to improve student learning since 2010 and it is testament to the success of the program that students are getting better results, developing apps and even hoping to improve healthcare around the globe.

The school’s iMedEd Initiative was launched back in 2010 saw all medical students receive iPads with digital textbooks already on them.

The iPads offered access to lecture podcasts, patient records and recorded data from "digital stethoscopes, bedside diagnostic ultrasound units and a variety of other medical devices."

UC Irvine reports that students taking part in the program scored on average 23% higher on their exams than previous UC Irvine medical school classes, but such has been the success of the roll-out that some students are even hoping to utilize the iPad to improve healthcare across the globe.

For instance, one small group of medical students at the school formed the “iMedEd Innovators Group” to discuss which new technologies that could be used at the medical school, and even partnered with the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences to hold a "Med AppJam" session in the aim of building iPad apps specifically for healthcare.

Somewhat incredibly as a result, 19 specialized iPad healthcare apps were developed by over 100 participants at the school in just ten days.

There have been other forward-thinking students too when it comes to iPad learning, with another set of students now looking at how pairing the iPad with a portable ultrasound unit could improve healthcare and medical education in countries like Peru, Australia, China, Vietnam, Nicaragua, India and Israel.

Such wide-spread benefits of the deployment have even managed to grab the attention of Apple, with the firm now naming the iMedEd Initiative as a “2012-2013 Apple Distinguished Program”.

The Distinguished Program is “reserved for programs that integrate Apple technology into education" in the best possible way and seems to entail Apple promoting the program nationwide as an “exemplary” learning environment. 

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