On the 23rd and 24th April I presented at a couple of iPhone Developer Day events in Dublin and Belfast organised by Digital Circle in conjunction with the Digital Media Forum and Create Ireland DevDays was the first iPhone developers’ workshop in Ireland and gave unrivalled opportunity for industry networking and interaction with official Apple engineers during sessions on iPhone development, user interface, marketing and business aspects.
My talks were a brief walk through the Connected Health Opportunity:
I made particular reference to how and why there is a big opportunity in developing mHealth applications for the iPhone. Key points included:
> The Apple iPhone is used by more senior affluent consumers than your average Smartphone
> Health Apps are already the 3rd fastest growing type of applications within the App Store
> Mobile Health Apps target an audience that’s more SENIOR and AFFLUENT than typical mobile user
> Patients make THE MOST LOYAL customers
> The legacy healthcare industry is very expensive but willing to change if benefits are clear and if patient demands it
> Lots of opportunity is being created as conventional services are being cut back
> Patient communities are vocal in promoting service providers who earn their trust and are some of the most active contributors to online communities
> Patients seeking help WANT PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS and REFERRALS – your mHealth Business Model doesn’t have to be BASED ON ADVERTISING
> Take the utmost care with your customers Personal Data and Privacy with particular attention to Storage, Third Party Access and Location sensitivity.
> Examples of mHealth applications that are successful and some mHealth UI’s (the good and the bad!)
I also spoke about the other contributions that they could make from using their developer skills in this space such as making a difference in the lives of others, helping to reduce waste in healthcare spending, etc.
The biggest take away for me would have been the original ideas, opportunities for collaboration and the interest that i got from some of the smartest young people we have in Ireland’s technology industry… had it not been that i arrived minutes before my talk (it was arranged at the last minute as confirmed speaker Eamonn Carey of MobiEd had to cancel due to a family bereavement) to find that the Conference featured live audience feedback via Twitter!
Not being a big fan of the microblogging formula i found myself in a very uncomfortable position where i had to speak in front of over 150 delegates about innovation in a completely foreign topic (mHealth) with no way of monitoring the very public live feedback that was emerging on another screen during my talk… the experience provided me with a lesson on how some patients must feel when Doctors don’t engage them in the care process: if only i’d been able to interact with what the audience was thinking, questioning, liking, disliking… it would have made it all the more personal and enjoyable.
Here’s a summary of the Twitter feedback on my talk from the 2 days, check out the full twitter stream here, (it’s interesting to note that this proves the benefit of the feedback as by considering the twitter feedback from the first day it made it possible for me to avoid anyone being confused with the content of my second talk):
positivecode: I thought my head was going to explode with ideas from the Connected Health presentation. Right along the lines I’m working on
blynch80: Great day at #devdays – will ‘connected health’ talk be available online? #barcampbelfast 2morrow – need to do some work in between 😦
OpinionatedGeek: I reckon ‘Connected Health’ was the best talk of the day. #devdays
georgemoore: Starting to thin out at #devdays Belfast. It’s been interesting. Didn’t expect a general Connected Health talk. I could have covered MH@A.
cimota: Lots to think about in mHealth / Connected Health. #devdaysMs_Procurement: RT @cimota:3Gdoctor giving some examples of non iphone mob apps horrible UIs great opportunities #devdays whoooosh(straight over my head):-)
cimota: @walshmichael Disagree. Mobiles (maybe not iPhones) are already major education source in developing countries. #devdays
benofsky: I’m really not sure what the “message” of this talk is supposed to be… Batman, robots, video conferencing with doctors… #devdays
andyregan: TBF, mobile health care is a massive research area. iPhone could be a pervasive devise in the area #devdays
walshmichael: Embarrassment is the least of your worries if you got HIV, NFC sensory mobile devices won’t provid better education on Ivory Cost #devdays
teicneolai: BiancaMed use a separate device with radar that then connects to the phone over bluetooth – not magic RF as suggested #devdays
walshmichael: If I can’t even MEET a doctor for 20 hours in A&E in a HOSPITAL of doctors, how will they call me on a 3G phone? Pie in the sky. #devdays
patrickod: The guy on the other end of the video call doesn’t look like a doctor… #devdays
TommyW: He’s beem called in last minute, original speaker had a family emergency. All he can do is point out huge medical market. #devdays
benofsky: Not very iPhone focussed #devdays
cimota: RT @antonmannering: 3Gdoctor giving some examples of non iphone mob apps horrible UIs great opportunities #devdays
walshmichael: “Loads of stuff”, “other stuff”, “it does loads of things” – no specific information, lots of waffle, unfocused talk, not iphone #devdays
antonmannering: 3Gdoctor giving some examples of non iphone mob apps horrible UIs great opportunities #devdays
benofsky: Where can I get a pill phone? #devdays
cimota: RT @antonmannering: David Doherty of 3Gdoctor talking about opp in connected health for iphone devs #devdays
patrickod: Summary of talk by far. My phone might indicate to others that I might have an STD. #devdays
What was missing? For me it was the operator community and in particular O2 – the exclusive network offering the iPhone in the UK and Ireland. Could there be trouble in the O2/iPhone relationship? Whilst the other big networks (eg Vodafone Betavine and Orange Partner) are investing heavily in their developer communities i wonder how O2 can even begin to excuse themselves from engaging with over 500 of Irelands best developers who want to work with them? Asides from the poor UI that hampers the otherwise rather promising O2 Joggler touch screen (click here for the video) can they really afford to ignore the influence these individuals have on corporate IT decision making?