Telecare Aware “Provocative mHealth presentation”

David Doherty of 3GDoctor gave what was arguably the most interesting and provocative presentation of the conference, about mHealth (mobile health).

The core of his proposition is that smartphone communications are rapidly emerging as the next mass medium as the main source of information for people in the way that the internet supplanted television, which supplanted cinema, which supplanted radio, which supplanted newspapers. He contended that just as the non-smart mobile phone hit the manufacturers of watches and cameras in the noughties, the smartphone and tablet computers are already disrupting other markets, such as for desktop PCs, and will disrupt our accustomed ways of delivering many services, including healthcare. [Telecare Aware readers will be familiar with our reports of adoption of iPads by doctors in the US, and we also heard at the conference that the NHS Direct app, which contains the whole algorithm used in their call centres, has been used over a million times in the 6 months since it was launched.]

David said that “The best opportunity we have of containing future healthcare costs can be achieved by teaching [older] patients to SMS.” He gave examples of how the 3GDoctor service works and of various health apps. Conference Chair Roy Lilley commented that many of the functions of the equipment on display in the exhibition could be replicated on phone and tablet apps.

This session should have triggered more debate: there were audience members I spoke to afterwards who, based on their own preferences regarding phone and internet use, remain to be convinced that these developments have significant implications for their telecare service delivery

In his review of last weeks Telecare and TeleHealth Conference, TeleCareAware’s Editor Steve Hards (probably the most established, knowledgeable and active authors on trends in the Telecare market) reminds us of the urgent need for more open debate on mHealth and the impact it’s having and is set to make on the Telecare market.

I couldn’t agree more, here’s the slidedeck from my talk:

About David Doherty
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9 Responses to Telecare Aware “Provocative mHealth presentation”

  1. I believe there would be a lot less skepticism of there were clinical studies of efficacy, adherence, patient and provider satisfaction. Watch for my blog on Nov 21. Thanks for your insights.

  2. The difficulty with smartphones use with an older populations is the reality of aging eyes. Small screens, smaller touch-pad limit efficacy.

  3. Pingback: ICMCC News Page » Telecare Aware “Provocative mHealth presentation”

  4. Hi Joann Canning,

    I think it’s worth pointing out that the rate of change in the global mobile market means that todays smartphone is next years feature phone.

    Check out the advanced feature sets and inclusive designs on the latest 3G mobiles from DORO:

  5. Joann–I agree with you not only on vision but also on range of motion and cognition difficulties with older people and the disabled. But I also agree on David’s point, in that design can offset much of this. Now if Doro could only influence the US mobile market–perhaps AT&T which is pioneering with the ForHealth partnerships and also bringing the hardware to the retail market.

  6. @Donna Cusano

    Very good points. I think by merely existing the likes of Doro are making an influence. It’s interesting to note how several other key health/safety innovations that faced widespread ignorance/adoption issues were challenged by other Swedish innovators eg. Seatbelts

    Personally I think there’s an inherent issue with the mHealth strategies of US telcos in that they continue to ignore the consumer market.

    Maybe because the market isn’t “jazzy” enough or possibly the senior market experiences at the likes of Jitterbug have put the telcos into recoil but there seems to be widespread ignorance that for the senior market more often than not mobile device and service adoption needs to proceed mHealth.

    The need for short term financial wins in a market where ARPU is falling may be deterring them from committing to the long term strategies that are needed to get seniors onboard.

    After witnessing the incredible success of Doro device sales via supermarket loyalty program promotion activities here in Europe:

    I’m optimistic that this market will start finally getting the adoption it deserves. There’s a big captive market for the likes of the Walmart/Sprint MVNO’s who have the all important store foot fall and existing long term relationships with well profiled customers.

  7. Pingback: Surgeon General Announces Winners of Healthy App Challenge « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

  8. Pingback: Some Of The Best 2011 Pharma Blogs: Marketing – Social Media – ePatients | AdvanceMarketWoRx

  9. Pingback: mHealth presence grows at Europe’s largest Telecare and Telehealth Conference « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

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