iPods and Healthcare: Where’s the Connection?

Friday, December 30th, 2005
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Like most Americans, we too here at the Healthcare Intelligence Network have been caught up in the iPod frenzy. We watched our children blaze the path with the technology, but are now seeing the possibilities beyond just downloading music.

A study by the nonprofit Pew Internet & American Life Project found that as many as 22 million American adults, or about 11 percent of the U.S. population, own iPods or other MP3 players.

At Duke University, the number of students using iPods in the classroom has quadrupled and the number of courses incorporating the devices has doubled in the second year of an effort to mesh digital technology with academics. Last spring, 280 students in 19 courses used iPods as part of the Duke iPod First-Year Experience.

In a Spanish for Health Communications class at the University, students are required to work as volunteers in the Latino community. During this service work, students use iPods with microphone attachments to record interviews with community partners and audio postcards recounting their experiences in their service placement. Students will also expand their knowledge of immigration and health issues in the Latino community by listening to audio programming obtained from the bilingual radio program “Que Pasa.”

The Arizona Heart Institute and Hospital is offering a podcast on how to recognize risk factors for heart disease and how to modify those risk factors to better health.

Is the iPod the next business training tool? Or a new way to deliver health education to customers?

I think it’s just a natural extension of both. As a business training tool or a means to provide health education to patients and members it really is just another way to deliver the message.

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One Response to “iPods and Healthcare: Where’s the Connection?”

  1. Kevin O'Donnell says:

    I really applaud exploring ways to use popular consumer devices to support healthcare. In addition to the podcasting features mentioned above, the portable data capability of iPods is also being put to use.

    Dr. Ratib at UCLA is experimenting with using the iPod in concert with OsiriX (a freely available medical image viewer) as a form of cheap, convenient portable images and teleradiology.