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      High User Acceptance of a Retina e-Learning App in Times of Increasing Digitalization of Medical Training for Ophthalmologists


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          The aim was to identify changes in continuing education and training in ophthalmology in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing digitalization and to analyse the acceptance of e-learning tools among German ophthalmologists using a novel Retina Case App as an example.


          The participants' training behaviour before and during the COVID-19 pandemic was surveyed. Furthermore, the acceptance and usability of the Retina Case App were evaluated using the System Usability Scale (SUS). A possible influence of the app on everyday clinical practice was assessed.


          A total of 145 ophthalmologists participated in the survey. The frequency of continuing medical education did not decrease for 62.8% of ophthalmologists during the pandemic. A significant increase in at least monthly use of online courses or lectures has been observed (90.3% vs. 28.2%, p < 0.001). No significant difference was identified in terms of frequency of use of print and digital journals or printed textbooks. The majority of participants stated that online training platforms are well suited to replace the absence of face-to-face events (73.8%). The mean SUS score was 87.7 (SD 11.9), which categorizes the app's usability as excellent. The majority agreed that the newly developed app enables faster learning (82.1%) and leads to increased motivation (71.7%). Most ophthalmologists (80.7%) felt that regular use of the app would improve confidence in the treatment of retinal diseases.


          The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant change in training behaviour in ophthalmology towards e-learning and online courses, which has not been accompanied by a general decline in training activity. The exemplarily investigated application showed a high user acceptance among ophthalmologists.

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          Most cited references36

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          Determining what individual SUS scores mean: Adding an adjective rating scale

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            The impact of E-learning in medical education.

            The authors provide an introduction to e-learning and its role in medical education by outlining key terms, the components of e-learning, the evidence for its effectiveness, faculty development needs for implementation, evaluation strategies for e-learning and its technology, and how e-learning might be considered evidence of academic scholarship. E-learning is the use of Internet technologies to enhance knowledge and performance. E-learning technologies offer learners control over content, learning sequence, pace of learning, time, and often media, allowing them to tailor their experiences to meet their personal learning objectives. In diverse medical education contexts, e-learning appears to be at least as effective as traditional instructor-led methods such as lectures. Students do not see e-learning as replacing traditional instructor-led training but as a complement to it, forming part of a blended-learning strategy. A developing infrastructure to support e-learning within medical education includes repositories, or digital libraries, to manage access to e-learning materials, consensus on technical standardization, and methods for peer review of these resources. E-learning presents numerous research opportunities for faculty, along with continuing challenges for documenting scholarship. Innovations in e-learning technologies point toward a revolution in education, allowing learning to be individualized (adaptive learning), enhancing learners' interactions with others (collaborative learning), and transforming the role of the teacher. The integration of e-learning into medical education can catalyze the shift toward applying adult learning theory, where educators will no longer serve mainly as the distributors of content, but will become more involved as facilitators of learning and assessors of competency.
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              The System Usability Scale: Past, Present, and Future


                Author and article information

                Ophthalmologica. International Journal of Ophthalmology
                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, karger@karger.com )
                2 May 2022
                2 May 2022
                : 1-8
                Department of Ophthalmology, University of Muenster Medical Centre, Muenster, Germany
                Author notes
                Copyright © 2021 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                : 14 January 2022
                : 18 April 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 18, Pages: 8
                Research Article

                covid-19 pandemic,e-learning,smartphone,medical retina,system usability scale


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