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M-phone impact on practical training: role of m-phone as part of the educative method for training local health workers of rural areas of developing countries

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'As previously demonstrated, m-phones can be easily used, without any adapter, to take and send images from a microscope (Terry in Telemed and e-Health 17(5): 320­323, 2011); (Bellina and Missooni in Health and Technol doi:10.1007/s12553-011-0008, 2011). The extraordinary power of m-phone in the education of very low skilled students, illiterate and/or vulnerable subjects has been previously described (Bellina and Missoni in Telemed and e-Health 17(9): 750­7750, 2011). The objective of the current study is to investigate the mechanisms generating the strong educational potential of the method, by exploring the psychological relationships brought by the use of m-phone in the learning mechanisms. A two-phase approach training was performed by using structured interviews, didactic tables, m-phones and computers as didactic tools. A total of 101 health workers have been successfully trained in basic lab skills and in the application of m-phone to capture microscope snapshot images, from September 2009 to May 2013 in limited-resource settings, such as rural health units in Uganda, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo and Thailand. Results showed that sharing images by m-phone, together with a two-phase educational method, (phase of relation, with a personal approach to the student, and phase of contextualization, with an approach to local community problems)combined with the use of logical didactic tables, proved to be a phenomenal learning tool, immediately linked to students’ personal perceptions.'

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Livia Bellina,  Giovanni Azzolina,  Ilenia Nucatola,  Annalisa Maggio,  Francesco Consiglio,  Roberto Ingrassia,  Fabrizio Vitrano,  Riccardo Carrabino  
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