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Sounds Healthy: iPOD in healthcare

On the London Underground everyone seems plugged into one. Even above ground in healthcare MP3 players are becoming ubiquitous.

Take the NHS Greater Glasgow Hospitals use of Voicemap™ for staff training. Like the guided audio tours used in galleries and museums, this system helps staff to find their way around, advising then, for instance, on location-related health and safety risks.

This FHIT entry describes iPOD being applied to train students to use a stethoscope.

Learning modalities are sometimes categorised as auditory, visual and kinaesthetic. My wife, a former ballerina, is a kinaesthetic, learning best by movement. She remembers a 90 minute ballet class, whereas I—a visual learner—would be lost in the warm-up pliés. Fortunately, iPOD also offers something for us visuals.

Dr. Osman Ratib is storing and transmitting and medical images with his iPOD. He even offers free software so we can try it.

It may be cool to carry iPOD, but who would go this far? Researchers have dispensed with Bluetooth and implanted a chip in a forearm using the body as a conduit. One day implanted devices could communicate without an enabling technology.

Might the elegantly realised iPOD evolve into one of the first popular information appliances that combines IT, medicine, technology and ease of use?


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HealthFrame 2.1 is a personal health record (PHR) that allows users to load portions of their medical record on their iPods. This information can be useful in case of emergency or continuity of care.

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