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Implementation of a Smartphone Application in Medical Education (iSTART)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02723136
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 30, 2016
Last Update Posted : May 17, 2016
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
Laboratorio de Ingeniería y Tecnología (LABITEC)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Felipe Martinez, Universidad de Valparaiso

Brief Summary:
This study addresses the effectiveness of a smartphone application to improve academic performance among medical students. Participants will be randomised to receive an application developed by a team of physicians and engineers, designed to review key concepts in internal medicine and its subspecialties. The primary outcome will be the number of correct answers in a multiple choice test 4 weeks after randomisation.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Education, Medical Device: Smartphone Application Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Smartphones are devices that are commonly used by medical professionals. Their adoption by students and physicians is increasing, with reported use rates of roughly 85%. Reasons behind these implementation rates stem from their versatility, since this technology provides mobile communications and advanced informatics in a handheld device that can be used at the bedside. However, data regarding their use in medical education is scarce.

This study aims to address whether a smartphone application designed to review key concepts in internal medicine and its subspecialties might increase the overall academic performance of medical students. Eligible participants will be interns in their final year of study who own a smartphone with an operating system based in Android® or iOS®. Only those that do not wish to participate will be excluded from this trial.

All participants will undergo a baseline test aimed at addressing their knowledge of internal medicine and its subspecialties. Multiple choice questions will be used in this test, which have been developed by a team of internists with 5 years experience in formulating them. These questions have also been designed to resemble a national examination that is required to practice medicine in the Chilean Public Health System, and have shown a good correlation with performance in the latter exam in previous reports. In order to optimise adherence, the application will also provide feedback to its user, showing overall performance in terms of correct answers and time required to solve a clinical vignette.

After this test, participants will be randomised to receive the smartphone application by a statistician. Investigators will be kept unaware of the allocation sequence used in this trial. The contents of the application will include clinical vignettes that will review core concepts in internal medicine and its subspecialties. After 4 weeks, participants will undergo a second test and the overall performance between groups will be compared. Both outcome assessors and statisticians will be kept unaware of participant allocation. Data regarding the overall application use will be collected as well.


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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 80 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Official Title: Implementing a Smartphone Application to Optimise Academic Performance Among Medical Students: A Randomised Trial
Study Start Date : April 2016
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : May 2016

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Smartphone application
Participants allocated to this arm will receive a smartphone application developed to assist and guide the study of internal medicine and its subspecialties. The application will provide feedback to participants regarding their overall performance in terms of correct answers and the overall time required to solve a clinical vignette.
Device: Smartphone Application
Smartphone application developed by internists and engineers. Will be made available on iOS(R) and Android(R) operating systems.

No Intervention: Usual care
Students allocated to this arm will not receive any further assistance in studying for this trial's tests.



Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Academic Performance [ Time Frame: 4 weeks after randomisation ]
    Overall percentage of correct responses in a standardised test.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Time to complete tests [ Time Frame: 4 weeks after randomisation ]
    Time required by students to complete a 90-question multiple-choice test.


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Application adherence [ Time Frame: 4 weeks after randomisation ]
    Mean time spent using the application.

  2. Application adherence [ Time Frame: 4 weeks after randomisation ]
    Mean number of questions answered by study participants.



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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Medical student coursing their internship.
  • Owns a smartphone with an Android® or iOs®-based operating system

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Refusal to participate.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02723136


Locations
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Chile
Campus de la Salud, Universidad de Valparaiso
Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile
Sponsors and Collaborators
Universidad de Valparaiso
Laboratorio de Ingeniería y Tecnología (LABITEC)
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Felipe Martinez, M.D., M.Sc. Universidad de Valparaiso

Additional Information:
Publications:
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Responsible Party: Felipe Martinez, Professor, Universidad de Valparaiso
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02723136     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CEC098-16
First Posted: March 30, 2016    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 17, 2016
Last Verified: May 2016
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Plan Description: There is currently no plan to make individual participant data available.

Keywords provided by Felipe Martinez, Universidad de Valparaiso:
Smartphone
Internship
Internal Medicine