PERCEPTION & UTILIZATION OF INTERNET & MEDICAL APPLICATIONS BY STUDENTS AT COMBINED MILITARY HOSPITAL LAHORE MEDICAL COLLEGE
Objective: To determine the pattern of internet and medical application usage among medical students, their perceptions towards these resources, and the subsequent challenges that emerge.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Combined Military Hospital Lahore Medical College, from May to Nov 2018.
Methodology: After taking consent, data was collected from 260 students through self-administrated questionnaire by convenience sampling. The data was analysed using SPSS version 20.0.
Results: All participants had access to the internet, and 98% had access to a smartphone. Daily internet usage was observed in 92.9% participants, with 29% of them using it for more than 5 hours per day and an equal number of students utilizing it for 3-4 hours per day. Textbooks were the favoured resource for looking up medical information (85.5%). Medical applications were used by 43.1% of the study subjects. Out of all the apps and websites assessed in the study Google was the most used 215 (84.3%) followed by Wikipedia 187 (73.3%), Web MD 153 (60%), Meds cape 121 (47.5%), Pub Med 61 (23.9%), and Google scholar 42 (16.5%). Most participants (42.2%) were either uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with using medical applications in front of patients. Most students believed discouragement from teachers led to decrease application usage.
Conclusion: Internet and smartphone usage was found widespread among medical students. While students view medical applications favourably, there was hesitance in using them in classroom and clinical settings.