Friday, March 12, 2010

Online CME likely to be half of all CME in a few years

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions:
Online CME use is growing rapidly and is likely to be half of all CME consumed by practicing physicians within a few years. The pattern is consistent with Christensen’s model of "disruptive innovation", whereby an innovative technology eventually displaces an incumbent technology by first providing a relatively low-quality, low-cost product that meets the needs of unserved customers. The technologies being developed for online CME may facilitate broader changes in medical education as well.
J Contin Educ Health Prof 2010; 30(1):3-10

The study is titled, "The growth, characteristics, and future of online CME," and here are the lessons for practice:

    * Conflicting public data on the growth of online CME can be reconciled, using a calculation that adjusts for number of activities, number of physician participants, and length of an average CME activity for each type of CME format.
    * Based on this calculation, online CME is less than 10% of the CME that U.S. physicians consume annually, but the growth rate is exponential.
    * Within 7 years online CME is likely to comprise 50% of all CME consumed in the United States.
    * The online CME market is being developed by commercial education companies.
    * Trends in the development of online CME are consistent with patterns of "disruptive innovation" described in other industries

You can read the abstract here.

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