Monday, June 29, 2009

MCG is first public health sciences university to offer new suite of iPhone applications

The Medical College of Georgia is the first university to offer a set of customized health sciences iPhone applications through Apple's App Store.

While many universities offer applications for parking, maps and other basic student information, MCG Mobile, an initiative unveiled today, offers applications specific to the health sciences curricula, giving Apple's iPhone or iPod Touch users access to such cutting-edge tools as a gestational calculator, a lipid cholesterol algorithm and a medical calculator with over 135 individual calculations and scoring tools.

"It’s absolutely important to infuse technology into the curriculum because it addresses the needs of the Millennial Generation," says Dr. Roman Cibirka, vice president for instruction and enrollment management and associate provost. "The goal and purpose is to enhance student learning outcomes for this group of students that think, learn and understand in a different way."

Michael Casdorph, director of MCG Instructional Support and Educational Design, helped provide the revolutionary tools delivered through the wireless medium that students have embraced.

"In a clinical or lab environment, it may not be practical to use a desktop computer or carry a notebook computer, so the mobile platform provides a new level of convenience that can be used anywhere and anytime, whether it is at the patient's bedside, in the classroom or even at the beach," Mr. Casdorph says.

He partnered with Terriblyclever Design, a programming company in California, to adapt its MobilEdu applications platform for the MCG Mobile Suite and then worked with Dr. Evan Schoenberg, a New Orleans physician who develops medical applications, to design six custom tools to optimize MCG instructional content for the mobile platform.

"We wanted to take this further than what any other university has done to deliver instruction and improve learning," Mr. Casdorph says. "So we added an additional six MCG-branded applications specific to the health sciences community and the iScope app, which delivers MCG-created health sciences learning content optimized for mobile devices."

The six MCG Mobile Suite applications include:

A directory of MCG faculty and staff
A GPS-enabled map to access your exact location on campus or pinpoint a building's location
An events app to keep track of what’s happening on and off campus
A course catalog (to be released in August)
A news app to stay attuned to MCG happenings
The iScope app to view a wide array of educational videos and other MCG-related content
The six MCG Medical Suite applications include:

A diagnosis and procedure code reference guide
A medical calculator
A medical abbreviations glossary
An optics clinical calculator
A gestational calculator
A cholesterol management algorithm
MCG educators hope MCG Mobile will draw more students and visitors to campus.

"This is unique in that we are the first public health sciences university to offer these mobile apps," Mr. Casdorph says. "This is just the beginning. We hope to roll with this through the future as a tool for teaching and learning."

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