What impact will the Samsung Galaxy Beam have on healthcare?

Launched earlier this week during a rather hectic Mobile World Congress I’m over the moon to have managed to get myself the loan of a new Samsung Galaxy Beam to see what we can do in healthcare with it. My initial thoughts are quite mixed:

Take a look at this poster

First person I’m lending this device to is a friend who is a GP trainer. I can’t wait to watch him consulting and teaching students with this. Obviously house calls have always presented challenges for home visiting healthcare workers because they obviously don’t have their wall posters or patient literature to hand to help explain things.

Can you imagine being able to share rich content so easily. I get the feeling that the Dr Companion medical library content is never going to look so good and can you imagine being able to use this to share with them their mobile accessible healthcare record while you’re explaining something?

Alivecor ECG

Can you imagine being able to hand a patient a credit card and then seeing their ECG tracing across the wall? With the Galaxy Beam this isn’t make believe…

Is this the ultimate sales tool to get attention at a medical conference?

Before you bite my head off for this one consider the difficulty that low cost one off mHealth service providers have gaining the attention when they’re competing with big corporates for whom even the smallest deal is a £multimillion/multiyear contract. Also consider the fact that a lot of medics I show the iPhone ECG case to don’t believe me that it actually works until they take a reading for themselves.

I can’t wait to be doing demos of this for the 1000 delegates at the Pharma Marketing conference I’m presenting at in Barcelona at the end of the month and the 3000 delegates at the mHIMSS Mobile Session during eHealth Week in Copenhagen. Can you imagine how the crowds will be gathering round magic like this?

I can imagine I’ll also be able to put it to good work as a conversation starter in the airport lounges too, if you thought doing an ECG 20,000 ft up was fun imagine being able to show it to everyone at the same time!

Video Calls

I really don’t know what to expect from this technology until I try it.

I can imagine there may be camera position challenges so maybe we’ll see firms like Jawbone producing cool position anywhere remote cameras? Maybe there will be software to apply perspective to captured images (correcting the shape of the captured face etc)? Certainly looks like it could be very cool…

> Imagine a grandmother video calling her Doctor from her bed with the image of her Doctor on the ceiling above?

> Imagine that same tech being used by the grandmother to play a multiplayer game with a distant grandson (eg. a game of chess on the ceiling whilst simultaneously holding a voice call) or to do some regular physio – as an user interface I can imagine it’s going to beat hands down 90% of the alternatives I’ve seen dreamt up by healthcare technologists:

Should drive interest in voice control interfaces

I can imagine the device will work best well placed on a surface and interfaced with using voice as tremor in the holding hand or prodding fingers will no doubt unsteady the image. I think this will be positive as it will provide an interesting route for voice enabled controls to get deployed.

Hopefully this will help confirm the end for R2D2’s in healthcare?

Over the years I’ve picked up on a lot of enthusiastic promotion of these awkward robots as the future of healthcare and I’ve yet to see anything that justifies 1% of it – especially when you appreciate there is such widespread ignorance of so many truly transformational mHealth initiatives that have been launched around the world.

Although something tells me we might not be quite around that corner just yet eg. I noticed the other day that there are two presenting on this topic at the upcoming TedMed 2012 (tickets cost from $5,000).


The device is on it’s way and will be arriving soon so check back for an update. Warning: please forgive me if I get a bit obsessed with how cool this is!

About David Doherty

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