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The Top Ten Uses for an iPad in Radiology Education
Tap that App! The Top Ten Uses for an iPad in Radiology Education:
A Pictorial Review
Frederick Weiss, MD, DPT
Jean Jeudy, MD; Alexander MacArthur, MD; Catherine Shaeffer; Nishanth Khanna
Poster Presentation at SIIM 2011 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC
10. Remote Desktop/Connectivity
Even with the considerable number of applications on the iPad, there are some applications which still need to be run from the hospital/university network. The iPad has native support for several VPN options, including: Cisco IPSec, L2TP over IPSec, and PPTP. These protocols are compatible with many hospital and university-based networks. Apple also provides support for advanced features such as certificate-based and two-factor authentication for improved security. In addition to these configurations, some institutions also use web based SSL-VPN solutions to manage remote users. Fortunately, there are special clients also ready to take advantage of this mobile platform such as Junos Pulse and Cisco AnyConnect. These applications add to the VPN capabilities of the iPad by enabling secure connectivity over SSL VPN to any SSL VPN gateway hosted on the enterprise.
LogMeIn Ignition is a great solution to access ones work computer and runs on all the major platforms including Mac OS, Windows, and Linux based systems. The application works by installing a small client on each computer you wish to control remotely.
9. Medical Reference
Many useful medical reference applications exist for the iPad. Programs include the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) medical reference app which provides links to YouTube videos and patient education resources. Epocrates is another useful comprehensive medical reference application. The iOS version of Epocrates is as functional as prior renditions on the PalmPilot; although there is no dedicated iPad version. Regardless, the content on Epocrates cannot be matched.
8. Conference, Call and Lecture Scheduling
The iPads native calendar app is not only attractive, it is also functional. Google Calendar is used extensively at our institution to schedule call shifts and conferences. The iOS calendar app can sync with multiple calendar programs including MS Outlook, iCal, and Google Calendar. This allows the iPad to contain a unified calendar.
7. Portable Case Review
Many DICOM file viewers are now available for the iPad. These include eFilm, GE Centricity, Osirix and the only FDA approved software, mobile MIM. These viewers are not meant to replace the current workstations; however, research is currently underway at our institution to evaluate the role of the iPad in the diagnostic process.
6. Mobile Cloud Storage
Mobile cloud storage is an online server that can be used to upload files allowing the user the ability to access stored files from any device with able to run the application. Many services exist including Google Docs and Dropbox. Dropbox provides a dedicated app whereas, Google Docs is purely Web based. Both offer an initial amount of memory for free. Google Docs has the added benefit of previewing many different file types, while Dropbox is simply a file managing service.
5. Communication/Conferencing/Instant Messaging
As already seen with the iPhone, communication has been revolutionized with mobile applications. Many companies are taking advantage of the power and accessibility of the iPad to engage groups with web conferencing and group chat offerings.
4. Presentation tools
The use of an iPad as a presentation creator and viewer has increasingly become a convenient alternative to a laptop. Apple’s Keynote application brings all of the basic features one would expect from a presentation app. Keynote and Powerpoint presentations can be transferred from the desktop through iTunes. Slides can then be shown on a large screen by attaching the iPad to an external display or projector with the optional adapter. The presenter display can be used to view the current slide, preview the next slide, or view notes.
Although there are a multitude of possible uses for the iPad in radiology education, foremost among them is its potential application as a multimedia reading device. This could range from textbooks in iBook format to PDF content from radiology journals. The iPad’s form factor, screen technology, and processing set it apart from other e-reader platforms. It allows the reader to view more content on a single screen and navigate with intuitive multi-touch controls. Two applications of specific utility in viewing PDF files include GoodReader and iAnnotate-PDF. Together, these applications provide the iPad with robust PDF viewing and annotation capabilities, in addition to file management.
2. Teaching Files
The most recent teaching file applications have been the most interactive and realistic in the reading experience.
Radiology 2.0: One Night in the ED - A great addition to any first or second year radiology residents’ teaching file collection. This application provides stacked, scrollable images of primarily chest and abdominal CT cases appropriate for the emergency and trauma settings. Each case has a detailed discussion with links to specific findings within the case.
Radiology Assistant - A program based on the popular Website: the Radiology Assisstant. This application provides organ and disease-based articles which can be accessed in a customized version specific to iOS. The articles are downloadable so access to the internet is not necessary to read the content.
iRadiology - Another excellent source with high quality imaging cases. Each case has a dedicated discussion with the option for image mark-up giving the viewer the ability to point out relevant findings.
MIRC Viewer and Surgical Radiology are more recent teaching file systems created for iOS devices which are impressive in their content and functionality.
1. Journal Articles
The true power of the iPad lies in its ability to deliver new media. Magazines, such as Wired, have harnessed this power, providing the reader with content that merges web with print media. A future could be envisioned in which a Radiographics article includes an interactive CT image allowing the reader to scroll the stack, window level, or even manipulate 3D reconstructions. While this may seem farfetched, consider that Radiographics has recently allowed users to interact with content on their website. In addition, Radiology released an application for accessing articles via a dedicated application. RSNA has pioneered its way onto iOS devices with applications for readers of Radiology and Radiographics.
Click here for the extended article (PDF).