iPhone applications provide mobile support

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Colin Booth uses his iPhone for everything.

"I rarely use my computer now," said the third-year student at Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine. "It's really become a part of my life."

Now, his smart phone can help him learn medicine and treat patients.

MCG officials unveiled Thursday what they say is the first suite of applications for the iPhone from a medical school - MCG Mobile. It is just the fifth college to have its own set of mobile applications, joining Stanford, Duke and Texas A&M universities and the University of California-San Diego, according to the company that helped create them, Terriblyclever Design.

"It really puts us in a top tier position," said MCG Associate Provost Roman Cibirka, who helped push the program.

Though some parts of MCG Mobile - such as a map of the campus - can be downloaded free by anyone from iTunes, many of the medical applications can only be accessed using an MCG network ID.

Mr. Booth helped demonstrate the new programs during a faculty development meeting, flipping back and forth easily between programs that could help you figure out IV dosing to a guide to decoding medical abbreviations to a guide to diagnostic codes.

"It's easy to use," Mr. Booth said. "That's the main thing with this stuff. It's just easy to use."

And it is the what students and faculty expect now, Dr. Cibirka said.

"Our purpose and intent is to be adapting to the lifestyle and requirements of today's society, and that's mobility," he said. "That's any time anywhere education and any time anywhere information."

While MCG Mobile is now rolled out, it is just the first version and work is already under way on the next, said Michael Casdorph, the director of instructional support and educational design for Information Technology Support & Services at MCG, who helped develop it.

"That was a good first start," he said. "There should be something there for everybody."

In fact, after the demonstration, Mr. Casdorph was approached by Prakaj Gupta, an associate professor of ophthalmology at MCG, about upgrading the application for optics.

"It can be improved far more than what it is," Dr. Gupta said.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

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