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Use of Smartphones for Clinical and Medical Education

Valle, Jazmine MS; Godby, Tyler MS; Paul, David P. III DDS, PhD, MBA, MA; Smith, Harlan PhD, MA; Coustasse, Alberto DrPH, MD, MBA, MPH

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000176

Smartphone use in clinical settings and in medical education has been on the rise, benefiting both health care and health care providers. Studies have shown, however, that some health care facilities and providers are reluctant to switch to smartphones due to the threat of mixing personal apps with clinical care applications and the possibility that distraction created by smartphone use could lead to medication errors and errors linked to procedures, treatments, or tests. The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of smartphones in a clinical setting and for medical education, to determine their overall impact. The methodology for this qualitative study was a literature review, conducted over five electronic databases. The search was limited to articles published in English, between 2010 and 2016. Forty-one sources that focused on the implementation of and the barriers to use of smartphones in clinical and medical education environments were referenced. These studies revealed that smartphones have more positive than negative effects on the ability to enhance patient care and medical education. Smartphone use is clearly an effective and efficient method of enhancing patient care and medical education in the health care industry. Access to health care as well is enhanced by the use of this tool.

Author Affiliations: Healthcare Administration Program, Lewis College of Business, Marshall University, South Charleston, West Virginia (Ms Valle and Mr Godby); Marketing and Health Care Management, Leon Hess Business School, Monmouth University, West Long Beach, New Jersey (Dr Paul); and Lewis College of Business, Marshall University, Huntington (Dr Smith); and Health Administration Program, Lewis College of Business, Marshall University, South Charleston (Dr Coustasse), West Virginia.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Alberto Coustasse, DrPH, MD, MBA, MPH, College of Business, Marshall University Graduate College, 100 Angus E Peyton Dr, South Charleston, WV 25303 (

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