If you had the opportunity to join the 140,000 or so attendees at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, you learned quickly that the prescription for "cool" this year will be tablets - not the multi-vitamins you take, but the smallest of computers expected to come onto the market this year.
Along with tablets, came phones, phones and more phones. Smartphones that work on 3G and 4G networks, that run on all wireless technologies, with operating systems from Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry and others.
Motorola even showcased a smartphone that doubles as a laptop or tablet, simply by dropping it into a docking station connected to a screen and keyboard. The Atrix is the first true morphing of a mobile phone and computer - and gave attendees a view of the shape of things to come. Simply put, the Atrix can be the next game-changer - sort of like the iPhone when first introduced.
Health care also offered some very cool devices, some honored with CES Awards in the Health and Wellness category. Exhibitors of all sizes showed up.
From smaller companies like Dakim that helps seniors use rigorous cognitive exercise to prevent or slow the development of dementia to Intel and its Health Care Management Suite, that offers health care professionals the ability to review their patients' progress and data quickly and simply. It even can arrange and conduct two-way video calls, allowing both patient and care manager to see and hear each other.
Seems like all the health care devices and applications exhibited at CES were directly impacted by the ability to keep connected regardless of where the patient, doctor or caregiver might be 24/7.
This is where the "rubber meets the road" as they say. Mobility is the key to the success of mHealth. It will be "the" driver of health care services in the future.
The use of tablets and smartphones - or that morphed device --in the health care industry will rise significantly in the next two years as the industry tries to adopt and keep up with innovative 21st Century technologies.
Surprisingly, about 80 percent of the tablets on display at CES could only be connected in hotspot areas served by Wi-Fi. If ubiquitous connections are required for anytime, anywhere health care - mHealth - computer companies might want to take advantage of embedding 3G and 4G connections from cellular companies into their tablets.
The one constant mobile carriers highlight about their services is coverage - speed, quality, and price are the others. But coverage is king in the mobile business. If computer companies want to help drive the evolution of mHealth they should take advantage of available chipsets from Qualcomm or Option that can power-up their tablets to work on any, or all, wireless/mobile data networks.
Not having ubiquitous connectivity in a computer is like building a car without air conditioning.
Have a safe and healthy week.
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