Here a POD, There a POD, Everywhere a POD, POD


Dr. Dee McGonigle



McGonigle, D (February, 2007). Editorial: Here a POD, there a POD, everywhere a POD, POD. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 11, (1) [Online]. Available at



Is it the healthcare dawn of the Pods? The iPod is a portable media device that came out after the turn of this century. With one of these gadgets, you could download text and audio files in seconds. IPods began life as audio only creatures but soon evolved into the world of video. Kukowski and Cruse (2006) noted that, “Within weeks of the introduction of the Apple® video iPod®, more than one million video podcasts had been downloaded“ (1¶). Docking stations continue to expand the horizons of the iPod as well as creative entrepreneurs. With the launch of the iPhone, mobile communication is added to the iPod’s repertoire.


Why are these Pods springing up everywhere? Some people feel as though they have their own private radio station since they can control the type and order of songs played using the shuffle feature. Video aficionados have embraced the video on the go concept. Educators are Pod casting audio and video vignettes to enhance the quality of education while addressing the need for flexibility given their students’ busy life styles. Belanger (2005) reported that over 1600 entering students were given iPods at Duke University. This project drew national and international attention. Thomas (2006) said it all, “iPod therefore I learn” (2 ). There is definitely iPod fever going around.


Workers often snuck peaks at the Internet during work hours and employers frowned on the lack of productivity and some even banned Internet access on a corporate wide basis. Then this highly portable and easily hidden iPod came on the scene. The iPod has turned the tide from the days when employees would hide their gadgets from their employers to having their employer provide them with an iPod so they can tune into meetings, announcements and training programs. Are we converting a leisure gadget into a tool for work and further clouding the line between leisure and labor? As employers embrace this technology, the threat of corporate data stealing emerges. All things do come with a price. The threat of the iPod technology has people writing about grand theft data. This new form of hack and take is called pod slurping. Sturgeon (2006) warns us that “A U.S. security expert who devised an application that can fill an iPod with business-critical data in a matter of minutes is urging companies to address the very real threat of data theft” (1¶). Uh oh -- Here a Pod, There a Pod, Everywhere a Pod, Pod!


Ahhh, healthcare and the iPod. Think about our patients for a moment. They purchase an iPod and then discover all of the healthcare casting available to them. Are your patients armed with iPods? If so, they “will be able to join the multitude of U.S. residents already tapping into podcasts aimed at influencing health care consumers” (Sarasohn-Kahn, 2005, 1¶). Have you thought about the stress relieving and relaxation potential? Scott (2007) has some fun ways to decrease your stress by using a video iPod. Healthcare professionals are joining on this band wagon as well. According to Baker (2005), radiologists are managing their imaging needs through the use of iPod technology.  Koslosky (2006) wrote an article on the Running Shoe iPod and states, “the iPod Nano is now being configured as a wireless monitor to track your workouts” (1 ¶). Could the iPod have the potential to impact “the trend of using the must have/must carry handhelds (usually cell phones) as wireless monitors for either chronic disease or health maintenance purposes” (3 ¶)? Clarian Health (2007) introduced “HealthPod -- that uses iPods to provide ongoing patient care and support for bariatric surgery patients. HealthPod gives bariatric patients free iPods that are programmed with customized health content pertaining to their medical procedure” (2 ¶). The iPod has set the stage for bigger and better things in healthcare as we embrace this compact electronic media device that combines technology and healthcare in an easy to use wrapper.


As Richardson (2006) states, “No matter what you think about the iPod, it’s clearly a springboard for the latest and greatest technology” (12 ¶). iPods provide creative and functional uses for the present and imagined uses for the future. By the way -- did you know, “the iPod has become one of the hottest wedding accessories today - iPods are now being used at every stage from initial planning to your eventual honeymoon on a beach” (Easton, 2007 1¶)? Where will they pop up next?


Here a Pod, There a Pod, Everywhere a Pod, Pod!





Baker, M. (2005). iPod store medical images. [Online]. Retrieved on February 12, 2007 from,1759,1748425,00.asp


Belanger, Y. (2005). Duke University iPod first year experience final evaluation report. [Online]. Retrieved on February 12, 2007 from


Clarian Health. (2007). Clarian Podcasts. [Online]. Retrieved on February 12, 2007 from



Easton, C. (2007). Saying iDo: Weddings, the iPod, and You. [Online]. Retrieved on February 9, 2007 from


Koslosky, B. (2006). Running shoe iPod. [Online]. Retrieved on February 12, 2007 from


Richardson, D. (2006). iPod uses grow along with sales. [Online]. Retrieved on February 1, 2007 from


Sarasohn-Kahn, J. (2005). Commentary: iPods and Health Care. [Online]. Retrieved on February 2, 2007 from


Scott, E. (2007). Top 10 iPod uses for stress management. [Online]. Retrieved on February 12, 2007 from


Sturgeon, W. (2006). Beware the ‘pod slurping’ employee. [Online]. Retrieved on February 1, 2007 from


Thomas, M. (2006). iPods in education: Innovation in the implementation of mobile learning. [Online]. Retrieved on December 21, 2006 from


Zukowski, D. & Cruse, M. (2006). Beyond the buzz: Professional uses of video pod casting. [Online]. Retrieved on February 6, 2007 from