Residents Will Lead the Way to Increased Smartphone Utilization

This article was originally published by iMedicalApps.

It’s no secret that the smartphone is becoming as much of a staple of the physician’s toolkit as, say, the stethoscope. Several studies and surveys have sought to quantify this trend among practicing physicians.

Recently, a group of researchers released the results of a survey of smartphone utilization among residents in ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) and the results provide interesting insights into what the future may hold.



We have previously looked at reports on the rate of adoption of smartphones for nurses and practicing physicians. While there is a fair amount of variability, such as between physicians of different specialties, this survey demonstrates that we can expect even higher rates of adoption in the future.


Approximately 8,353 surveys were sent out electronically to residency and fellowship program directors for further distribution among their faculty, fellows, and housestaff. Just over 3,000 responses were submitted. It’s worth noting though that the response rate could not be assessed because there is no way to know how many individuals actually received the survey in the end.


While 85% of respondents reported owning a smartphone, only 56% reported using it in clinical practice. One interesting feature however is breaking this down by training level. Nearly 70% of residents (N = 1,397) reported using their smartphone clinically, while only 39.2% of attendings in practice for more than 15 years (N = 665) reported the same. This is despite only marginally different smartphone ownership rates — 88% among residents and 78% among the attendings. In short, this confirms the intuitive prediction that younger physicians are using smartphones (and likely other mobile technology) at higher rates and are likely to carry this forward as they become practicing physicians.


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