The Effect of Always-On Learning


The first class of iPad-equipped medical students to graduate from UC Irvine scored an average of 23 percent higher on national exams than previous classes, even though their incoming GPA and MCAT scores were comparable, MobiHealthNews reports.

It’s exciting to see how personal interactive technology can improve learning performance. Students gain a clear advantage when the information is at their fingertips 24/7; available wherever and whenever they need to it to solve a problem or review a concept. The research evidence on the value of just-in-time or performance-based learning is very strong. With a new generation of powerful, portable, and connected devices the vision for always-on learning is in full bloom.

These same principles of learning can be used with patients along the continuum of care. For example, patients coming to the hospital for surgery should know what to expect and the information should be readily available when they are in the mindset to need it. Take the hospital discharge process for another example. As written about in Forbes, patients are overloaded with information in a short period of time before discharge, often when they are stressed, in pain and possibly medicated to the point of fogginess. Then non-compliance with their instructions often leads to readmission.

Why not give them all the information they need in an interactive easy-to-digest format that they can access once they get home and review it in their own time, and include their caregivers? Plus, offer an easy way to ask questions if they forget what to do?

For the naysayers who complain that elderly and low income patients wouldn’t use such tools, check out the myth-busting study covered by Medical News Today: The UCSF research team found that a significant majority of uninsured patients currently use email, text messaging, and the Internet in their everyday lives and would like to extend that to their health care.

Also, surveys show consumers age 55+ own 17% of the tablets in homes today and that number is expected to continue to grow quickly over the next few years. offers patients an entirely new way to experience their acute care with just-in-time learning and health management tools. With the same convenience as other online services like banking and travel booking, or online education, makes it easy and convenient to learn, make decisions, and follow their health procedures. Learn more.

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