Leeds Uni medical students get iPhone loans

Medical students in their fourth and fifth years at Leeds Uni are being given free Apple iPhones as part of their course.

The initiative is so that students can access progress files, assessment modules and course materials while they are away from the uni. The university said that undergraduates “typically spend much of their time in local NHS hospitals, GP surgeries and community health clinics” in these final two years of their course, which makes it difficult to stay in regular contact with tutors and course materials.

It also eliminates the need for hundreds of textbooks – no more broken backs from those heavy backpacks.

This week the Department of Medicine is dosing out the iPhones in what the Uni claims is “the first time that a UK medical school has provided undergraduates with all the tools they need to study off-campus via mobile phone technology.”

A total of 520 medical students will be loaned an iPhone 3GS 16GB for the remainder of their undergraduate course in Medicine at Leeds.

The iPhones were chosen for the range of apps they offer. They will come pre-loaded with a range of apps that will let students record notes on interesting cases whilst still on the wards. Docs will also be able to read up-to-date guidelines on administering prescription drugs as well as test their knowledge of procedures or protocols they have just observed.

A range of other relevant medical apps that can be downloaded free-of-charge or purchased will be provided too.

Students will also be given unlimited mobile broadband connectivity from O2 on their iPhones as part of the loan deal. However if they want to make calls or send texts then they will have to pay for these through a pay-as-you-go tariff.

Professor Trudie Roberts, Professor of Medical Education at the University of Leeds said: “No other UK medical school is taking advantage of the virtual learning environment to such an extent.

“It is vitally important that medical students continue to develop their skills and record their progress when they are in practice, as well as when they are on campus.

“Mobile phone technology means that students can do this quickly and easily, wherever they happen to be working.”