Having an ability to visualize a problem is an important advantage when trying to comprehend it and find a solution. Visualization is especially important to medical professionals. Ability to see certain procedures, whether live or on-screen helps medical workers to grasp the knowledge better and faster. Live experience is of course the first choice when it comes to visualization; however it's not available to everyone. Close second and the best alternative for visual learning are moving images, i.e. videos.
There are plenty of websites that offer video content from various categories, with YouTube being the most famous and the best source. However, strict rules regarding copyright or sensitive material may limit availability of certain medical videos. Also, even if published and approved, medical videos may be 'buried' among the tons of unrelated videos and advertising content.
Having a professional website specialized exclusively for medical videos was the solution. And that was the drive that launched the innovative project called MEDtube back in 2009. MEDtube was designed as an online video-centric education and communication platform for healthcare professionals, made by two visionary Polish surgeons, Michał Wszoła and Rafał Kieszek, based on their own clinical practice.
Following the website, the MEDtube team expanded their scope of advanced education and communication tools, including eLearning platform, eBooks platform, webinars application and event calendar.
The mobile application was also launched for both Android and iOS devices, offering its users not only access to all the website's functionalities, but also ability to easily share their own videos and photos.
MEDtube is currently the world's largest online repository offering high-quality educational multimedia content, counting over 15,500 professional medical videos. By the end of 2015, MEDtube had 110,000 registered users, mostly physicians, clinicists, medical societies and universities, contributing to the idea of sharing medical knowledge.
The website's and app's library contains various medical videos, surgical videos, photos of medical cases, visualizations and animations. MEDtube also contains interviews, presentations, webcasts, case-reports and other professional materials in all medical specialties, shared by physicians, medical societies and institutions, while some are produced by MEDtube. The app and the website are currently available in four language versions: English, French, German and Polish.
In order to use MEDtube app, you'll need an account. Unfortunately, the app doesn't offer you an option to register within an app. It redirects you to MEDtube.net page instead, so you can register you account there. We found this a real annoyance, because ability to register inside the app is a standard, even for newer or 'weaker' apps. We expected nothing less from MEDtube.
Besides your basic information, during registration you'll be asked to fill in your profession, university, workplace and to add fields of interest, from Aesthetic medicine to Vascular surgery. Once you finish your registration on MEDtube website, you'll be able to log into the app with the email address and password you registered with.
The MEDtube app's home screen offers a list of various medical specialties, listed alphabetically starting with Cardiology and apparently finishing with Pulmology section, which was awkwardly covered with Show All button, that's supposed to show all categories at once. It does show them, but only briefly, because in a second you're redirected to particular category, which apparently holds the same position as the Show All button. This was another annoyance with this app that we didn't expect to see this soon. But this bug seriously ruins the user experience, because once you tap on Show All button, you can't choose the specialty listed afterwards, yet you'll be repeatedly redirected to Cardiology, Clinical Genetics or Clinical Oncology, three categories that hold the same position as the button, depending where your scroll was on the previous page.
Search bar at the top of the screen ease the things a bit, allowing you to search for more specific topics, if you know what you're looking for. However, bugs that cripple the user experience like this can't be tolerated and can't be an excuse coming from a 5-year old source that claims such popularity and authority in medical field.
Once you select a category or a topic you've searched for, you'll get a list of related videos with a short description of what the video is about, number of view and a 5-star rating system. Videos range from short, lasting only couple of seconds, to longer, depending on the procedure or condition they described. We've noticed that the majority of the videos within the app seem to be surgery related. Also, during our review, we didn't notice any lecture based or animated medical videos, but we think that MEDtube app might benefit from them immensely.
The option of what would be uploaded is left to MEDtube app users. However, each video still must be approved by the app's editorial team.
Besides videos, you can also check shared events, as well as most active channels and app users. These options can be accessed via menu button on the top left.
Overall, despite its UX/UI flaws, MEDtube app is a great tool for all medical professionals to upload and submit their own content while maintaining its educational value.
Benefit: MEDtube is built for healthcare professionals, including MDs, medical students, university teachers, assistants, as well as general public interested in the app's content.