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Applications in medical education

We at OUP are no strangers to the changes in publishing and all the different forms a ‘book’ can take. One of our recent medical titles has been adapted as an iPad application (or ‘app’) — Cardiac Imaging Cases: Cases in Radiology for iPad — so we asked the co-author what it’s like to practice and learn medicine in this new form.

By Charles White


For those of us who have been in the radiology business for a while, technology is always changing things for the better. Innovations such as PET scanning, multidetector CT, PACS, and voice recognition software have changed the way we practice.

Education has also been favorable affected. Teaching using PACS is far easier than using sheets of CT film as we once did. Even the way we learn from books is different. Previously this was done in a linear sequential fashion.


Now, apps focused on radiology allow us to personalize our learning in a manner that best suits us. We can review an area comprehensively or quickly jump to a particular topic that is of interest at the moment, perhaps because we have encountered it in our daily work. We can evaluate ourselves using unknown cases. Apps allow us to link to literature for further detail and consult with others using social media. It permits real time display and discussion of difficult or interesting cases with colleagues at remote sites.

This capability has transformed our previously linear approach to practice and learning to a truly multidimensional strategy.

Charles White is Professor of Radiology and Medicine, Chief of Thoracic Radiology, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland. Joseph Chen is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland. Together, they are the authors of Cardiac Imaging Cases, on which the Cardiac Imaging Cases: Cases in Radiology for iPad application is based. Learn more about the Cardiac Imaging Cases iPad application on this dedicated microsite. Marteau is a digital strategy agency specializing in mobile and emerging platforms.

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Recent Comments

  1. Aidan O'Donnell

    Without doubt computerisation has revolutionised radiology. Being able to display and manipulate images on a screen is much more useful and versatile than holding up a large square of celluloid in front of a light box.
    But I am not sure I agree with your other points about learning. I have never studied from a textbook in a linear fashion. When I studied from books, I always had two or three open at once, to see how different books described the same phenomenon. And I would cherry-pick my topics, rather than reading any book from start to finish.
    In my opinion, two things are necessary for great learning. First, the application of the learner: they need to put in the hours and actually do the work. Second the presence of a good teacher, who can guide, support and challenge the learner as appropriate.
    Though I have considerable experience in teaching and in multimedia-based education, I think that there is an unsettling tendency to believe that a whizz-bang user interface can substitute for the presence of either of the two things mentioned above.

  2. Medical Colleges Caribbean

    Absolutely correct, computerization has led the medical era to the very next level with much better control to what under investigation. Great to know about the Apps which plays a significant role in knowledge gathering and distribution……….

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