Mobile World Congress is the world’s biggest mobile industry meeting and has started here in Barcelona (the ‘Mobile World Capital’) and continues until the 27th February 2014. This year the meeting coincides with the world’s biggest Healthcare IT meeting (HIMSS in Orlando Florida) and if you click here you can also follow live mHealth Insights from that industry meeting courtesy of our super smart US partner Dr Chris Bickford MD.
Click here to view a comprehensive mHealth Guide to Mobile World Congress.
Refresh this page or click here to read updates from the meeting:
First time visitor to mHealth Insight? …here’s a little introduction to me. I’ve been attending and tracking mHealth developments from Mobile World Congress since it was started. You might like to check out the mHealth reviews I made from the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Mobile World Congress Meetings.
Here’s a pic of me in Feb 2010 at the Augmented Reality showcase flashmob that was organised by AR consultant Christine Perey (who was also responsible for the sash!) doing a demo with a tablet of mHealth augmented reality (the next mass media) use cases (and you thought no one had a tablet before the iPad in April 2010!):
I think the focus has shifted from MWC because an important shift happened (as I predicted in 2008) and the mHealth industry created it’s own events and these proved a big hit with audiences. Check out my listings of mHealth events from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 and the trend is clear. In 2014 there is hardly a day of the week when there isn’t a mHealth meeting being held somewhere.
The GSMA (the mobile operator association that produces Mobile World Congress) tried to spin off their own mHealth meetings but these failed after struggling for a couple of years in Cape Town South Africa with a NGO/Charity focus that fitted with the operators misguided view that mHealth wasn’t a business but a CSR opportunity.
Obviously the peak of these meetings is the mHealth Summit. Now in it’s 6th year this Washington DC this event draws a global audience that is very influential (so far there have been more than half a dozen self made billionaires present on the mHealth Summit stage) and in 2013 there were more than 300 exhibitors and 4000 delegates attending – click here to read my review from the 2013 meeting.
Another thing that has impacted things was the explosive growth of Apple and the massive appeal they had with the customers who would spend their money on mHealth (eg. consulting with our service 3G Doctor). Because Apple don’t officially participate in Mobile World Congress the appeal of it is somewhat diminished for companies like us who want to uncover more ways to work with Apple their tens of thousands of employees and millions of smartphone customers.
So what’s changed and why do I think #MWC14 is going to be different? …in one word: Samsung.
After knocking Nokia (the brand that defined the last decade) off the top spot as the biggest Mobile device manufacturer Samsung is poised to announce some great new devices and will be officially making an announcement on it’s mHealth strategy. We’ve got some embargoed copy here that we’ll be releasing during the week but the bits to look out for will be this evening straight after Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote and then on Tuesday where I’ll be live streaming here a video link to the talk by Samsung President Young Sohn during the ECH Alliance’s session in Monjuic.
To help build your appetite Samsung has a R&D budget of 10B last year and has recently announced a $100 Million venture fund and a new Samsung Digital Health Innovation Lab testing centre established with the University of California San Francisco that will be looking into connecting sensors (read about the Alivecor and Telcare devices to get the idea):
As I’ve predicted this decade is going to end with a smartphone brand (Apple or Samsung probably) on the right hand side of medical device and pharma convergence. Early signs are clear but until now we’ve never had the biggest mobile manufacturer was confident enough to talk about themselves as a healthcare brand (remember how Nokia used to do anything to avoid association with health?):
OK that’s a little backgrounder out of the way. Let’s get onto some #MWC14 developments. First up the launch of the “Mobile Health Competence Centre” which is now part of the “International Competence Centres Program at the Barcelona Mobile World Capital Foundation“. Got that?
Apparently the “International Competence Centres Program is a meeting point between the ICT industry and companies and organisations from different sectors. It identifies main stakeholders, defines Master Plans for the industries’ mobile transformation, both economically and socially. Focused on the design and management of key projects that will transform the world’s mobile economy. The Mobile Health Competence Centre is located in the MediaTIC building, in Barcelona’s 22@ technological district“
Unless I’m very mistaken I thought the world of Healthcare IT was already meeting in Orlando but giving the initiative a chance I read on to discover that the “mHealth Competence Centre” seems to have tied itself up in red tape before it even launches eg. “The mHealth Competence Centre’s Website relies on 3 Committees to validate and provide feedback both in the content and the strategy behind. These committees are composed of the Ethics Committee, the Editorial Committee and the Project Committee“.
I hope there’s more news at the conference as there seems like a significant lack of focus and I really hope it doesn’t just remind me of that old adage about things that are designed by committees…
It also appears that a focus of the “Mobile Health Competence Centre” will be to create a membership network.
“About Membership. mHealth Website Community Members enjoy regular updates about the mHealth Competence Centre’s work, and access to news, interviews, multimedia material, exclusive professional networks, debates, market place and tracker mHealth initiatives. Membership is open to professionals and institutions across all sectors that are actively engaged in or interested in mHealth.“
My thoughts: Ignoring all the typos it’s obvious to see why an organisation trying to complete in the hyper competitive healthcare IT market would like to be able to build out a network like this but I’m not sure we all benefit from investing our time/attentions into yet another professional networking site when Linkedin has grown and established itself with it’s own dedicated groups for members with specific interests eg. the 5,500 member mHealth group that I set up on Linked in October 2008.
I also think the new organisation is going about it all the wrong way it’s making the details of membership unclear eg. will I be accepted if I’m a Patient who is not a professional?
I think I’ll join to find out more once I’ve had a week to read the Terms of Service. Interesting to see it lets me sign in with Linkedin – maybe it is just another Linkedin mHealth group that you get access to after sharing your email address? (at last count there are 100+ of these – whilst none are of course as big or active as the original).
Last night saw delegates gather for a pre-MWC meeting by the “IoT Barcelona” meetup networking group. An over running meeting meant I couldn’t make it which is very disappointing as the meet up introductions really gave me the sense that this was one of the smartest networkers that will take place at #MWC14. If you can’t think why IoT is so hot ask yourself why Google paid $3.8B for Nest. Interesting things always start with small audiences…
It’s important that those working in mHealth are familiar with how mobile is enabling the internet of things as it’s really going to have an impact on healthcare and provide a viable way for us to use technology to move on from the broken 2000 year old healthcare model and today’s fixation on trying to solve everything with office visits.
Mobile World Congress delegates are set to get complimentary WiFi access throughout the venue. I can’t help feel that this is the clearest sign of how badly MNOs have mismanaged roaming. This is only really needed because Mobile operators have collectively made it so difficult/confusing/expensive to use the data connection on your mobile when abroad that even the people who work in the industry don’t want to use it… a lot like healthcare then…
Wrist worn activity sensors (or “wearables’) seem to be getting promotion everywhere you look in the MWC14 news. I really need to find a Japanese delegate and ask them to share their opinion (on camera) about this trend (in Japan pedometers went native 6 years ago on even the very basic Raku Raku mobiles used by senior citizens).
After this effort by Huawei there is no way Apple is going to throw itself into this stagnant pond. Saying that I think multifunctional devices work a lot better (I could never understand why more of the devices I’ve been sent didn’t also double as a USB stick or as a Google Chromecast) and I’d probably order one of the Talkbands from Huawei if the headset quality was anything near as good as my Plantronics Voyager.
I wonder what will be on the FitBit booth now that they’ve recalled the FitBit Force flagship device. I could imagine the company being a hit with Silicon Valley VCs if they put together some plans to “pivot” into upselling their customers on remote 3G Doctor styled dermatology consultations…
Great infographic from the world’s market leader & number one brand in easy mobile. 40 years young this brilliant device maker really understands a customer group that the mobile operators are ignoring. Be sure to make it to their booth in Hall 7 booth #A81
The ‘Speakers’ Corner Run Sheet‘ is a very last minute addition to the “ECHAlliance Health and Wellness @ MWC14″ session.
Held Tuesday 12.45-16:40 and Wednesday 11:30-XX:XX the invited ‘startups’ presenting will include an odd mix of the Pharmaceutical giants, town Mayors, lawyers and civil servants. Talks will include:
Pfizer Smart Labels: Aaron Cockell, Medical Information Regional Director- Europe, Middle East & Africa, Pfizer
mHealth in Africa: sharing best practices: Arjen Swank, Business Development Manager, Text to Change
Using Information for better care in Northern Ireland: Sean Donaghy, Regional Director eHealth and external Collaboration, Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Board
Ecosystems at the heart of public-private partnerships: Noora Jansson, Director, OuluHealth
Evaluation and distribution of mHealth apps: David Sainati, Founder and President, MedAppCare
Leadership for innovation in Connected and mHealth: Lorraine Acheson, Outreach Manager, European Connected Health Alliance
eHealth@work: More than 25,000 patients in Alere’s telemedicine program for chronic heart failure in Europe: Dr Christian Kloss, Director of Connected Health, Alere
Legal Empowerment for Connected Health: Bleddyn Rees, Partner, Wragge & Co
Mobile apps: a great opportunity to transform health care: Antonio Gonzalez, CEO, Wake App Health
MedecinDirect – a straightforward answer to medical needs: Francois Lescure, President, MedecinDirect
Healthcare Communications – Do Patients Matter: Paul Buchanan, CEO & Founder, Team Blood Glucose
Belfast Met’s Connected-Care Strategy: Karen McCann, Life and Health Science Project Manager, Belfast Metropolitan College
ICS Perspectives on mHealth: Mary Cleary, Deputy CEO, Irish Computing Society
Three critical challenges when developing a mobile EMR: Luke McNeice, Technical Consultant, Kainos
Cloud, Mobile and Social: The Perfect Storm For Healthcare: Eugene Borukovich, VP Healthcare, European Markets, Softserve Inc
Doctoralia, the global platform that connects patients and healthcare professionals: Frederic Llordachs-Marqués, Co-founder, Doctoralia
To be advised: Luc Vialard, Platinnes
mHealth solutions save lives and money: Sophia Salenius, Managing Director, RegPoint Ltd
VTT Health R&D – one stop shop for diagnostics solutions: Eero Punkka, Head of Center for Knowledge Intensive Services, VTT
BePatient, eHealth solutions to improve patient pathway: Morgane Fournie, Business Development Manager, Be Patient