Smartphone technology enhances newborn intubation knowledge and performance amongst paediatric trainees

Resuscitation. 2013 Feb;84(2):223-6. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.06.025. Epub 2012 Jul 11.


Objective: Smartphones are widely used by physicians, but their effectiveness in improving teaching of clinical skills is not known. The aim of this study was to determine if pre procedural use of a smartphone neonatal intubation instructional application (NeoTube) improves trainee knowledge and enhances procedural skills performance in newborn intubation.

Design: Neonatal Resuscitation Program certified trainees in paediatrics and neonatology completed a knowledge based questionnaire on neonatal intubation, and were recorded intubating a term newborn manikin model. They then used the NeoTube iPhone application for 15 min, before completing the questionnaire and intubation again. Video recordings were later reviewed by two independent assessors, blinded to whether it was pre or post NeoTube use.

Results: 20 paediatric trainees (12 fellows and 8 residents) participated in this study. Comparing pre and post-viewing of the application, Questionnaire Scores (median (range)) increased from 18.5 (8-28) to 31 (24-35) (P<0.001), with calculation scores increasing from 6 (0-11) to 11 (6-12) (P<0.001), Skill Scores increased from 11 (9-15) to 12.5 (9-16) (P=0.016), and the duration of intubation attempt decreased from 39 to 31 s (P=0.044) following utilisation of the application. There was a significant positive correlation with duration of specialist training for procedure performance post viewing, but not pre viewing of the application.

Conclusions: Bedside use of smartphones can enhance both knowledge of newborn intubation and improves procedural performance, including reducing the time to successfully intubate. Smartphones may have a useful role in bringing procedural skills training closer to the bedside.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Enhancement
  • Cell Phone*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / standards*
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Resuscitation / education*