3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Session 2B
Knowledge on the go: A survey of mobile device usage in medicine
Introduction: Little is known about medical trainees’ and clinicians’ current use of mobile devices for information-seeking, including the resources they use and in what context. This study was designed to better understand what types of mobile information resources this population finds valuable, how and why they find them valuable, what criteria they use in selecting resources, and what kinds of problems they encounter in using mobile resources. It investigates how students, residents and faculty members in Canadian medical faculties use mobile devices such as smart phones (e.g. iPhone, Android, Blackberry) and tablet computers (e.g. iPad), specifically in relation to their studies and professional environment.
Methods: This is a multi-site study at five Canadian universities. An electronic survey was distributed by medical librarians at each university to medical students, residents, and faculty members via departmental listservs, personal contacts, and relevant websites. The survey investigates the types of information sought, frequency of and reasons for mobile device use in medical information-seeking, access barriers, support needs, familiarity with institutionally-licensed resources, and personal purchasing of resources. Qualitative information was solicited by asking for a specific incident in which a mobile device was used to answer a clinical question. Participants could choose to be contacted for a follow-up interview; however, those results will not be presented here.
Results: Data from over 800 survey responses, demonstrating the trends at the participating universities, will be presented.
Discussion: The discussion will address how academic health libraries can effectively support mobile technology and collections in light of survey results.