iPad in Radiology Not Used for Clinical Workflow

iPads are used mostly by younger radiologists and residents for reading and accessing educational material - not for clinical workflow.

Radiology residents use iPads as educational tools and learning aids, but not so much for clinical workflow, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass., assessed the usage patterns and opinions of the iPad as a tool for radiology education and clinical practice at their medical center.

Thirty-eight radiology residents in the radiology program (postgraduate years two to five) were provided with iPad 2 tablets and subscriptions to e-Anatomy and STATdx. They were surveyed after six months of device use to assess how they felt about the technology as a tool for education and clinical practice. Thirty-six completed the survey.

The results showed:

  • 86 percent of the residents reported daily use of their iPad
  • 88 percent of respondents used radiology-specific applications, particularly e-Anatomy, weekly or daily
  • 70 percent preferred to read journal articles on the iPad, and 48.5 percent of respondents preferred to read textbooks on the device - the same percent as those who preferred the traditional bound form.
  • Most residents did not use the iPad clinically, however: 75 percent had not used the iPad to view radiologic examinations and only 47 percent used their iPads during readout.
  • 12 percent used the iPad to edit dictated reports.

The authors concluded that while the iPad was a popular device in the radiology community, it is still used mostly for educational purposes and not for clinical workflow.

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