Leading medical app blog mentions libraries!

Todd Vandenbark

e-Readers: Kindle, Nook, iPad, Xoom
As a regular reader of the iMedicalApps blog, I was excited by the title of a recent posting: “If you don’t have an iPad, go to the medical library and borrow one.” The post goes on to highlight three U.S. schools that check out iPads to physicians: Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and University of Central Florida (UCF), and one in the Netherlands, University Medical Center Groningen. The latter institution’s program was so successful that they added five more iPads to their initial fleet of three, and are documenting everything on their wiki site.

What uses are these devices being put to?

Amanda Chiplock MLS, the Acquisitions Emerging Technologies Librarian at the Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division Library reported that most of the physicians who borrow their iPads are using them for teaching and presentations (45%) or videos and research (40%) [from iMedicalApps post].

Doctors and other patrons who check out these devices can install their own software selections, and retain access to those apps for use via their account at the iTunes Store, should they decide to purchase an iPad for themselves. Challenges arise when using these devices to access institutional electronic medical records (EMR), but they are not insurmoutable. Upon return to the library, these devices are easily wiped and reset back to their basic configuration for the next patron.

As noted in an earlier post, the Eccles Health Sciences Library also has a mobile device check-out program, providing patrons the option of test-driving any of the following eReaders and tablets before purchasing one for themselves:

  • Apple’s iPad (3 available)
  • Motorola Xoom (3 available)
  • Amazon Kindle (6 available)
  • Barnes and Noble Nook (3 “1st Edition” and 3 color)

The check-out period is two weeks (as of this writing), and upon check-in, patrons are asked to complete a brief survey on how the device was used, etc.

Have you checked out an iPad, eReader or other mobile computing device from Eccles Library or another library? What device did you check out, and how did you use it? What did you like and dislike about it? Tell us!