“Learn like your life depends on it,” says Kevin Lawrence, CEO of Lawrence & Co. If you work in healthcare, not only your life depends on it; everybody else’s does, too.
Most organizations may find it difficult to engage their employees in learning, but not in healthcare. Be it a training program, a conference, a case study, or even a college degree, healthcare professionals are always pursuing knowledge. But most of their learning opportunities are available only inside a brick-and-mortar classroom.
According to a CBP report by the US Census Bureau, the healthcare industry is still the largest employer in US, with over twenty million people on a trillion-dollar payroll. Organizing in-person training for a workforce of this magnitude presents many logistic and economic challenges.
- Clinicians have to choose between patient care time or personal time to take part in training.
- Buying training equipment, organizing schedules, and providing venues and other resources can be expensive.
- Ensuring knowledge retention is not possible in classroom-based training as there is no room for frequent assessment.
- Research developments often disrupt standard operational procedures, requiring fast retraining.
- Healthcare is a high consequence industry. Keeping your trained employees amidst the constant regulatory and administrative scrutiny is a challenge for most organizations.
Learning must reach beyond the constraints of budget, time, and location to overcome these challenges. Mobile learning promises precisely that.
But for the healthcare industry to choose mobile learning over classroom-based learning, it takes more than a promise.
Evidence to Prove the Effectiveness of Mobile Learning in the Healthcare Industry
Mobile learning is inexpensive, interactive, flexible, and makes learning accessible and measurable, but healthcare professionals were skeptical that mobile healthcare training would work.
- A report commissioned by World Health Organization stated that online and offline eLearning imparts knowledge and skills as well as or better than traditional learning.
- An Oxford study in 2013; reported that 83% of healthcare professionals performed better by accessing drug reference data on their Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).
- The same Oxford study highlighted that professionals could learn about guidelines, books, reviews, and recent research updates sooner with PDAs’ help.
- Four out of five doctors were already using smartphones or tablets for work-related purposes.
Applications of Mobile Learning in the Healthcare Industry
From hospitals to health insurance companies, the healthcare industry includes a wide variety of professions. Training requirements for each profession in each sector are unique from one another.
Mobile learning can be adapted to meet the training demands of various employee groups. Here are a few examples to show its versatility in the healthcare industry.
- Personal Digital Assistants: Physicians use hand-held computers to access medical references, drug information, and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) at the point of patient care. They serve as pocket brains to provide just in time learning in a clinical environment.
- Virtual Stethoscopes: iStethoscope is a mobile application that enables you to listen to your heartbeat and visualize in wave form on your mobile screen. It is used to train young physicians on how to draw insights just by listening to a heartbeat.
- Medical Reference Apps: These applications provide access to medical reference books, drug specifications, medical news, and the side effects of drugs. Many healthcare professionals use them to update their knowledge and maintain a competitive edge.
- AR and VR Simulations: AR and VR simulations have a great scope in healthcare training. Organizations use mobile learning applications with AR features to train employees on using medical equipment. VR and AR mobile learning technologies in healthcare, like Touch Surgery, InCell VR, and Virtual Surgery Simulator apps help train surgeons to perform complex surgeries without the risk of real-life mistakes.
- Sales Support Apps: Many applications deliver training services in this sector. Healthcare sales personnel like medical representatives and health insurance agents are always on the road meeting clients and closing deals. Mobile learning is a natural fit in this scenario. These applications aim to improve both product knowledge and soft skills in your marketing and sales personnel.
Mobile Learning in the Healthcare Industry During COVID-19
When the outbreak happened, governments and organizations launched COVID-19 apps to educate, track, and monitor their people. Some of them even had multiple language settings to expand their reach.
The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a COVID-19 mobile learning app to provide healthcare workers with resources and developments on COVID-19 treatment. Doctors, scientists, and researchers collaborated on these platforms to exchange information and update patient care.
Imagine how much more hell would have broken loose if not for mobile learning during the pandemic.
Mobile Learning is a Necessity for Healthcare Industry
Other organizations may choose mobile learning solely for its benefits, but it is a necessity for healthcare. That need will only grow as more mHealth initiatives occupy the healthcare professions.
Despite the widespread adoption of mobile learning during COVID-19, it is still a developing technology in many industry verticals.
But from what we have seen so far, mobile learning doesn’t just promise impact. It delivers.
That is probably why healthcare is among the top ten industries interested in mobile learning.
Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.