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Implementing technology into clinical practice: Speech-Language Pathologists and iPad use

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  • Recent advancements in mobile technology and increased use of mobile devices are influencing service delivery in healthcare settings, including the field of speech-language pathology. Although limited research exists in this area, an increasing number of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have expressed interest in using these tools within a clinical setting. This study is part of a larger project examining the use of iPads by speech-language pathologists in Alberta Health Services (AHS), a large, province-wide health agency. This component of the study examined SLPs’ perceptions about iPad use before and after using the device for a 9 to 12 month period, how the iPad fit into their clinical practice, what benefits or limitations were reported, and what recommendations clinicians have for integrating iPad use in a clinical setting. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected through online surveys as well as initial and final focus groups. After dealing with initial challenges surrounding device setup and app acquisition, iPad use increased across the period of use. Clinicians identified a number of themes surrounding clinical iPad use, such as the need for IT support, time and education. Results and discussion also included suggestions for future iPad implementation within a large health agency.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International