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Volume 3 Supplement 1


Usefulness of a mobile application in undergraduate critical care teaching


Very BASIC (VB) is a course for basic assessment and support of critically ill patients that is part of the curriculum for our final year medical school. In 2013, a new digital application for electronic handheld devices was introduced. It was designed to provide quick references and consisted of 57 topics presented in 38 PDF and 2 MP3, 8 flowcharts and 8 medical calculators.


To assess the usefulness of the application in teaching critical care medicine. We hypothesize that students will find it useful and will use it during and beyond the course.


Final year medical students were offered access and encouraged to use the application during the course. The login date, time, lesson chosen were collected over 15 months then separate into 3 periods: during the 2 weeks VB course, 34 weeks post-course and 31weeks post-medical school final exam . We used questionnaire to assess students' views on its usefulness (1 = strong disagreement to 5 = strong agreement). The scores of another written test taken at the end of the VB course were compared to that of 2012 students, who did not have access to the application. The application was not to be used during this VB test.


Of the 160 (96% of class of 166) students that used the applications, 154 (96.3%), 121 (75.6%), and 49 (30.6%) logged in during the VB course, post-course and post-final exam respectively (Table 1). A total of 61531 logs were made. The questionnaire showed that 146 students agreed (score 4 or 5) that the application will be useful after becoming doctors; if include all users, the median (IQR) was 4(4-4.3). Overall, there was tendency to agree with positive statements and to disagree with negative statements about the usefulness of the application (Table 2) . The mean test scores for the VB course of students 2013 compared 2012 were 21.55 ± 3.08 and 22 ± 4.0s, p = 0.024.

Table 1 Summary of application logs.
Table 2 Student feedback questionnaire part 1
Table 3 Student feedback questionnaire part 2.


Our results show a high utilization rate of the application amongst students. The number of usage was highest during the course and remained high until the final examination. A third of students continued use it after graduation. Students found the application to be useful as a guide for managing critical illness and predicted continued usefulness beyond graduation. The use of the application did not improve written test performance but also did not lead to complacency as our study shows that many students showed the initiative to use it as a learning tool beyond the course period.

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Leung, C., Joynt, G., Wong, W. et al. Usefulness of a mobile application in undergraduate critical care teaching. ICMx 3 (Suppl 1), A857 (2015).

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