Nokia World Review: Is it Health or Wellness?

The week before the Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit and the London Design Festival I attended Nokia World at Excel in London to search out any mHealth developments happening at the mobile industry giant. This event represents the annual gathering of the global brand and it’s clients and developers, the people who defined the noughties leading the business that proved to be the cannibal of cannibals… I had high expectations!

The speakers and talks were great and my event report got a little long for a blog post, so taking the idea from the really cool photo essays by Clinica’s Salina Christmas here’s a photo essay on my highlights:

Smartphone- the remote control for your life: To my mind this has got to start with control of the screen on the wall

Whilst I love being able to remotely control an Internet TV with an app on my smartphone, I can’t help but feel there is a larger near term opportunity arising from having a HDMI port on your mobile as then you don’t need a new TV or for it to have an internet connection. Nokia’s TV Out now works via a HDMI port and a lead that’ll fit any HDMI TV:

And whilst it might win you a World Record…

There is still lots of room for improvements to the user experience. For example I can’t wait till they move on from screen sharing to the phone becoming the controller. The experience is better and the opportunity is bigger if the guy playing this game is watching it on the big screen:

With the phone assuming the role of a game controller:

Extensible devices: Where have the SD cards gone!

Of course we’ve all seen the incredible mark up Apple get away with for built in memory eg £100 for 16GB of storage

But I’m not so sure this is something Nokia is going to achieve with the the mass market – they’ll prefer to pay for a device and then £20 more for removable storage

If Nokia claims it’s not competing with the iPhone it really shouldn’t copy this move. There are countless good reasons why their real world challenger isn’t dropping removable/upgradeable memory just yet…

Dual SIM: Great to see Nokia is grabbing this bull by the horns with the launch of the C2…

This “hot swappable” (one of the SIM’s can be removed/replaced when the device and other SIM remain on) entry level (€45) mobile can use two SIM’s at the same time (making it possible to put a call on one SIM/number on hold in order an answer a call on the other) which will no doubt impact on the emerging market potential of the various cloud phone concepts, and comes with OVI Life Tools (info on a range of topics eg health, agricutlate education etc), FM Radio, Music player and of course it supports micro SD cards.

As this functionality comes to smartphones I think it’ll help launch some exciting new mHealth opportunities eg. patients enrolled on a mHealth program can be given a SIM that can handle the app, data and communications with the provider. It will also offer more seamless introduction of enterprise smartphone solutions (like that seen at Leeds Medical School) as participants will be able to take the new phone/service yet keep their own SIM’s/numbers without having to carry another device.

App hackathon: I felt this was a big missed opportunity…

Instead of approaching the key thought leaders in key industry segments (eg. event speakers such as Jane McGonigal or the Heads of Departments at the world’s leading Universities) Nokia organised a MakeMyApp competition. I couldn’t find details on the judges and the T&C’s were exhaustive.

I felt that by focusing on people with an idea it missed out on the bigger opportunity which to my mind is people with a problem…

On the day I couldn’t even find some of the entrepreneurs (and was told that a few were taking the opportunity so casually that they’d slipped off to do some sightseeing in London!). Afterwards I heard complaints that they didn’t get their app built and that they felt there was no pressure to have it done.

Heads Up UI’s: I really can’t see this gazing into a 2in handheld screen experience continuing much longer…

So it was nice to be able to sneak a peak at some of the work Nokia is doing to deliver services without having to look at the phone screen and other nice future stuff eg. this app which uses a collaboration between the camera and HDMI port image to enable new ways of interaction (imagine this when we start seeing picoprojectors in mobiles!):

And where would we be without some nice augmented reality? This demo leveraged the 3D visual effects that the N8 is capable of and showed an entire German language magazine showcasing different AR functionality eg. in this picture the advert is trying to generate support for a campaign against development of a greenfield site:

What I’d hoped to see was a nice mashup of Nokia Maps & Lonely Planet content running on their wide range of GPS devices… why this isn’t in the market already amazes me as Nokia are in the prime position to send these nasty expensive AudioGuide devices into the history books…

With Google’s recent acquisition of BlindType (and promises to bring it to Android in the near future) this is a market that is going to get very competitive very soon, and whilst Nokia is well placed every now and then you got to see something really bad. Check out the horrendous UI on this incar experience, I don’t think even I could use this from the passenger seat!

Confidence in itself and the importance of being on side with the brand

Nokia staff don’t seem confident with their devices place as the primary computer in peoples lives. I notice that people are generally impressed when mobile phones do things that they thought you needed a PC to do, so imagine the effect if this whole event was run on mobiles? Imagine the responsibility the staff would have of making sure it all worked? Imagine the passion needed to pull it all off? If you can project a movie from a N8 onto the worlds biggest screen surely in 2010 you can work out how to run these little demo screens on the devices you were giving away to delegates (Nokia N8’s featuring HDMI ports)?

I had been hoping to see a Nokia Tablet device (Samsung, RIM and LG are all preparing products for launch) but the Nokia laptop wasn’t even being demoed (I only saw one single Nokia Booklet in the two days):

Nokia QT SDK:

This was the main news of the event from a developer perspective and they’ve done a great job reducing fragmentation. Click here for a well written more indepth look at this.

Keynote Talk, Emerging Market: The Next Billion moderated by Jawahar Kanjilal

OXFAM’s Thomas Schultz-Jagow, Director of Communications:

mobiles are helping improve compliance with antiretroviral medications which is leading to declining rates of HIV infection because patients “are now stable”

The GSMA’s Dawn Haig-Thomas Director of the GSMA’s Development Fund.

the GSMA has established a Mobile Healthcare Project Team

big business opportunity in energy for mobile operators in emerging markets as their research has shown that whilst monthly ARPU may be only $5, in many emerging markets customers are finding themselves paying as much as $3 a month just to get their phone charged

we’ve identified female subscribers as a “lost commercial opportunity of $13 billion per year” in research conducted which shows 2/3rds of future subscribers will be female

research shows that 9 out of 10 mobiles owned by women make them feel more Independent, richer and safer. And some anecdotal evidence (on fire log sales) that shows they can sell 10 times as much product “once they had their own mobile”

MTN SA: Surajh Surjoo

“Educate on HIV and malaria TB in 50 characters left on the “please call me” messages – this is what you need to do”

“CSR: we deliver education on maths and science via IM messaging quizzes”

“Tradenet, manoby,these services are offering daily pricing on 80 commodities to over 300 foreign markets, gone is the 50% middleman and 3 buyer markets”

Dieter May, VP Emerging Markets, Nokia talked of the importance of services for Nokia going forward:

“Speed that Nokia can move: Novara acquisition + 3 months = live Nokia browser”

Let’s Game Life: Talk by Jane McGonigal

On it’s own the chance to hear Jane talking was worth the trip to Nokia World. I really wish more people in Healthcare understood this space… get a head start by watching this Ted Talk:

I’m totally convinced that the application of gamenetics to our behaviour will be a cornerstore of successful mHealth services:

> Worker education and CME: Most people in IT/Mobile wouldn’t believe how ineffective the materials that are used to keep Doctors and Nurses upto date with critical information on the way they are practicing.

> In order to empower patients to make long term changes we need services that are attractive, intriguing, addictive and capable of connecting us socially with people we love (or can grow to love!). The world of gaming has done this already and as Jane showed the stats are incredible:

We invest 3 billion hours a week playing online games

Gamers spend 10,000 hours gaming by the age of 21

We’ve so far spent 5,930,000 years playing World of WarCraft

Which all makes the enormous financial reality of mGaming even more amazing (get this data from Tomi Ahonen of course)…

There were only two things I’d like to have heard Jane talk more about:

1) The lack of scientific evidence: Whilst Jane has presented probably the best data there is, this just highlights the massive need for more high quality research in this area and Universities should be clamouring to be doing it as in my opinion it is the next gold rush.

2) The lack of controls: Maybe Physical Training offers better results due to the community that solidiers find in the gym environment? Are these computer games played in social rooms? Maybe if they added sufficient social connectivity in the games (eg. a simultaneous web cam video link to the highest scoring player) they would prove even more effective?

My Take Away: In the next decade a mobile game developer is going to work out how to get people addicted to leading a more fulfilling, healthier and active life. Jane has done a great job of neatly defining 4 goals that these developers will exceed. In the same way that we should learn and appreciate the 8 unique attributes of mobile as the newest mass media, the mHealth developer community should also strive to deliver on these objectives with their service offerings:

As Jane introduced Evoke I could hear the feint sound of a few groans and saw a few shaking heads in the audience. This is always a good sign but I was surprised by how wide the lack of awareness is even amongst such an informed group. I suppose it’s not a reality that’s easy to accept?

In my opinion mHealth innovators would do well to keep Jane’s work in the forefront of their efforts, because reality is indeed broken…

With mGaming comes mGambling: and another big untapped mHealth opportunity

“At $4-5 billion the biggest content is mGambling, much bigger than everything else, commerce, entertainment, everything else really…” Jay Chang CFO Kong Zong, commenting on how the Chinese mGambling market already dwarfs all other types of mobile commerce.

How long is it going to be before mHealth entrepreneurs get something out the stable door to serve this massive patient population? I think offering help with a gambling problem will very soon be a priority for mobile operators who are becoming key facilitators (perhaps somewhat unwittingly as they chase VAS profits) in the gambling market…

Asides from the corporate social responsibilities of mobile operators I wonder how long it will be before they are required by law to offer such advice?

Health OR Wellness



For one reason or another Nokia has taken the line that it needs to interchange these words depending on the liabilities they face in different markets. I don’t think this advice is logical as it’s not as clear cut as they may wish it to be. Maybe they don’t yet have (or want!) the risk profile to accept their role in Healthcare, but look at what Apple are doing front of stage…

Bear in mind that this Johnson & Johnson LifeScan demo wasn’t anything more than a prototype and years later it’s still not a product, but look at the brand loyalty, coverage and market support it’s helped create for Apple’s brand!

Contrast that with a connected health profile, diary and a place to collect, store and make sense of biodata that could serve hundreds of millions of patients the world over.

Let’s understand the RISKS:

In my opinion thinking that you can avoid risk by talking about “wellness” instead of “health” is itself a high risk strategy especially if you’re not careful of all the details of the rapidly expanding and converging areas that exist in the OVI Appstore marketplace. I encountered a good example of this at Nokia World in the form of the Toddler Tutor application that was a finalist in the MakeMyApp competition:

It’s a educational application for toddlers that the Nokia Hackathon event was helping an entrepreneur to build. So let’s fast forward a few years and let’s list the POTENTIAL risks that Nokia could possibly face from the success of their support and promotion of Toddler Tutor as an application for parents to use with their very young children:

> Class action from adults who can show that their eyesight is impaired because their parent used this app for prolonged periods to entertain/teach them

> Class action from adults who can show that their exposure as an infant to close prolonged contact with a powerful smartphone running a tutorial application has had a serious health effect because of the rapidly dividing state of their young cells.

> Class action from adults who claim addiction to computers resulting from the worlds biggest computer manufacturers push to appeal to ever younger customers:

Now I’m not saying that any of this will happen or that Toddlers wouldn’t benefit from education delivered by a smartphone application. I’m just using this example to make the point that the risks at this stage are unknown and everyone would be better off if we were upfront about them.

Nokia and the Wellness Diary:

After first using the original Nokia Wellness application some 4 years ago, it is clear to me after about 30 minutes with the revised app: Nokia has without doubt produced the best ever mobile health diary application and with a bit of personalisation (by the health insurers, care providers etc who should support this important effort by making contact with the Nokia team on now) it’ll be ready for marketing to millions of existing Nokia customers.

I’ve made a full video review that I’ll be posting soon, but I still can’t help but think that the future of mHealth is not going to be a patient diary that’s been maintained since the weekend. The device maker who is going to dominate this market needs to start living the dream and using mHealth with employees.

Only Nokia and Samsung have the footprint, installed base, manufacturing capacity and R&D budgets to take the lead as a device maker in mHealth. There success shows they’ve got the diversity, imagination and long term ambitions:

I started by explaining the merits of the Nokia Brand, so I think I’ll finish by asking why aren’t they leveraging it? Why not start by getting rid of OVI? Most customers don’t care or even know about “OVI” so why not give them the Nokia Appstore? Instead of giving away 14 million OVI mail accounts why not let the public show their love for the brand and let them have a 1 billion NokiaMail accounts?

About David Doherty
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7 Responses to Nokia World Review: Is it Health or Wellness?

  1. Pingback: The Health App tranjectory… will mHealth apps be native by 2015? « 3G Doctor Blog

  2. Pingback: Nokia starts saying “Health” and drafts in top talent for its Wellness Business Program « 3G Doctor Blog

  3. Pingback: Congratulations to Nokia for shelving “OVI” « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

  4. Pingback: IDEA PROJECT: Your chance to help Nokia develop new mHealth services* « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

  5. Pingback: Nokia announces plans for how it will invest in early stage mHealth ventures « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

  6. Barley Green says:

    Hey There Mhealthinsight,
    Thanks for your thoughts, With the many changes in the Nokia N96 compared to the features that were available in the N95, it’s easy to see how the N96 can achieve a level of stability for both personal and business use. The functionality of the Nokia N96 makes it a viable option for companies looking for a phone with all of the necessary functions for business use while providing a little bit of pleasure or the ability for employees to stay in touch with their home office as they travel.
    I look forward to your next post

  7. Pingback: Samsung launches “S Health” brand « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

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