Amr A. Jamal



Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology.


Oregon Health & Science University


Background: Smartphones have great potential for medical education as they allow health care providers and students to access resources efficiently at the right time at the point-­‐of-­‐care to help in informed decision-­‐making.

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of smartphone usage among medical residents and to explore their attitudes, perceptions and challenges they experience when using Smartphones in their academic and clinical practices.

Methods: This study was performed using cross sectional survey was conducted on all 133 residents in 17 different specialties across two large academic hospitals, with a total of 800 beds, including out-­‐patient clinics in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The outcomes were measured by a web-­‐based validated questionnaire that included smartphones platforms preferences, and their uses in general and medical practice, and the perception of confidentiality and safety impact of using smartphones for communication and accessing patient data.

Results: With a response rate of (101/133, 75.9%) and a mean age of 27.8 (SD 3.0) years, we found that (100/101, 99.05%) of participants were smartphone users with mean duration of use of 5.12 (SD 2.4) years, and a range from 1 to 12 years. A negative linear correlation was found between age and duration of age (P = 0.004). The most common operating system used by the participants was the iOS platform (55/101, 54.5%), and English was the most used language to operate residents’ smartphones (96/100, 96.0%). Further scrutiny determined that “phone calls (88/101, 87.1%)”, following chatting apps such as WhatsApp, LINE, were the most non-­‐medical-­‐practice communication, whereas medication references (83/101, 82.2%), medical references (80/101, 79.2%) and medical calculation (61/101, 60.4%) were the most commonly used medical-­‐practice-­‐related non-­‐communication apps/tools among the respondents. Short battery life (84/92, 52.2%) was the most common technical difficulty, and distraction (28/92, 27.7%) was the most likely side effect of using a smartphone in medical practice.

Conclusions: Smartphone use among medical residents in various medical specialties has become almost universal in healthcare settings. This should alert academic institutes about proper utilization of these devices into the medical training and point-­‐of-­‐care decision-­‐making, while at the same time ensuring patient’s privacy.




School of Medicine



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