Kidney Transplant eBook: An Interactive Learning Tool

At first, electronic books were meant to transfer paper-based content to a digital format, but nowadays as @LVRiella wrote on the Renal Fellow Network (RFN), this has changed. Riella gave us a glimpse of what would ultimately become his eBook,  "hoping that students, residents, and fellows would enjoy the format and really get the most learning possible while seeing transplant patients". 

Traditional textbooks are being replaced by intelligent, colorful, multimedia programs available on mobile devices. Tthese active education strategies integrate various forms of teaching, feedback and working on multiple skills in parallel.

The Kidney Transplant ebook is adapted for all learners, but mostly for those who are looking for a tool that allows them to understand basic concepts (immunosuppression, basic immunology, donor evaluation, etc.), and get involved with clinical transplantation through a simple and easy-to-read text, high-resolution pathology slides, figures, and video.

This ebook engages the reader through thirteen chapters in a journey in solid-organ transplantation. Every chapter has no more than five key learning points.

Unique features include a way to take notes integrated into the book and a personal "dashboard" to create individualized learning plans, track performance, and choose select interactive tools such as figures, videos, and review questions.

One thing that reveals the hands-on approach of the author are the 101 sections - introductory topics at beginner’s level - for subjects that might be challenging (pathology, vaccines).

I used the book to prepare for performing an ultrasound. The book taught me how to set up the machine, establish the order of imaging (allograft size, collecting system, masses, Doppler) and discussed the interpretation of some specific conditions.

The book uses a problem-solving approach to various common post-transplant areas such as allograft dysfunction early after transplantation.

For advanced readers, the content may answer some clinical questions and integrate knowledge, but be aware that it does not include exhaustive analyses of debatable issues or areas of ambiguity, such as desensitization protocols.

By betting on multi-touch materials, the iBooks format is able to deliver concepts, such as flow cytometry as a 4-minute video. Details are greatly appreciated, especially links to online blogs and hypercitation (hyperlinks directly into the text of a reference).

According to Dr. Riella, it took seven years of exhaustive work before being published, as it required some of the faculty members at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital to revise certain subjects, for instance, Dr Daniel Andrade (Kidney Transplant Ultrasound), Dr Helmut Rennke and Vanesa Bijol (Kidney transplant pathology). Future updates of the book will likely be supported with the participation of additional contributors. Already since its publication in 2015, there have been four revisions.

It is only available on Apple's iBooks so it is not supported on Android or Windows.

In summary; the Kidney Transplant eBook is a must-read for students, trainees, and clinicians who want a thorough teaching resource to learn and develop skills on renal transplant medicine.

Omar (@ErrantNephron)