U Louisville Gives Med Students Option To Purchase Pre-loaded Sprint Smartphones

Under an agreement with Sprint, medical students at the University of Louisville now will be able to use wireless technology to enhance their education and improve the clinical care of patients. Existing and incoming students will have the option of purchasing a discounted Sprint Windows Mobile smartphone that includes medical applications, such as ePocrates and medical and drug reference databases. The phone will also allow users to access the university's e-mail program and address book.

"Sprint's wireless technology will allow our students to access a virtual library of textbooks and medical references," said Edward Halperin, dean of the School of Medicine. "We believe it is worth investigating whether or not giving medical students these tools and technology will enhance their knowledge and sharpen their decision making. Ultimately, our graduates will require these skills as outstanding physicians. It is important to assess the role of technology in the acquisition of clinical skills."

In a statement, the school said the key benefits of the program include:

  • A single device, which can replace the need to carry multiple devices, including a separate phone, PDA, and pager;
  • Fast access to medical information and other drug reference guides through applications such as ePocrates;
  • A virtual library of textbooks and medical references;
  • The ability to do research on medical topics with wireless access;
  • The ability to customize a phone to include information on a student's current rotations or areas of study;
  • The ability to sync with the university's e-mail program and address book; and
  • A contract that allows for technology upgrades during a student's medical school career.

"Wireless adoption in the medical field is rapidly growing, and this program will prepare medical students on how to use wireless technology in their future lives," said Stephanie Atkinson, managing partner and principal analyst at Compass Intelligence. "Hospitals across the country are using smartphones and wireless applications to write prescriptions, facilitate communications between physicians and nurses, and give them the power to access critical patient information on their wireless device."

Sprint estimates its educational subscriber base for smartphones at 750,000.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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