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Open Access Software

Mobile NBM - android medical mobile application designed to help in learning how to identify the different regions of interest in the brain’s white matter

Iskander Sánchez-Rola* and Begoña García Zapirain

Author Affiliations

DeustoTech Institute of Technology, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain

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BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:148  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-148

Published: 18 July 2014

Abstract

Background

One of the most critical tasks when conducting neurological studies is identifying the different regions of interest in the brain’s white matter. Currently few programs or applications are available that serve as an interactive guide in this process. This is why a mobile application has been designed and developed in order to teach users how to identify the referred regions of the brain. It also enables users to share the results obtained and take an examination on the knowledge thus learnt. In order to provide direct user-user or user-developer contact, the project includes a website and a Twitter account.

Results

An application has been designed with a basic, minimalist look, which anyone can access easily in order to learn to identify a specific region in the brain’s white matter. A survey has also been conducted on people who have used it, which has shown that the application is attractive both in the student (final mean satisfaction of 4.2/5) and in the professional (final mean satisfaction of 4.3/5) environment. The response obtained in the online part of the project reflects the high practical value and quality of the application, as shown by the fact that the website has seen a large number of visitors (over 1000 visitors) and the Twitter account has a high number of followers (over 280 followers).

Conclusions

Mobile NBM is the first mobile application to be used as a guide in the process of identifying a region of interest in the brain’s white matter. Although initially not many areas are available in the application, new ones can be added as required by users in their respective studies. Apart from the application itself, the online resources provided (website and Twitter account) significantly enhance users’ experience.

Keywords:
Android; Mobile application; Medical education; Technology-enhanced learning; Brain; White matter; Tractography; Region of interest