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@TechnicalJones: Media Reporting from Mobile World Congress on mHealth

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@TechnicalJones: Media Reporting from
Mobile World Congress on mHealth

It sometimes takes a large, trusted media outlet to add legitimacy to an issue, trend, innovation, etc...and hopefully that holds true for mHealth.

For mHealth, last week's HiMSS event was eclipsed this week by the largest mobile trade show in the world - Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.  It plays host to hundreds of exhibitors, more than 60,000 attendees and some of the marquee media outlets from around the world...including CNN.

The global news outlet posted a story from MWC, "Mobiles and medicine: The brave new world of mHealth," on its site that highlights the role that mobility can, will, and needs to play in the future of health care.  It offers examples of some applications and services on display in Barcelona.  The mobile players at the show understand the altruistic need for supporting the health care industry, but more importantly, the potential revenue opportunities that go along with that support.

Furthermore, the mobile industry understands that health care applications and services raise the bar when it comes to quality and consistency of delivery.  When a YouTube video buffers it's annoying for the customer - but when a doctor using a mobile ultrasound probe plugged into a smartphone loses a mobile signal, or has to buffer, it can lead to a wrong diagnosis.

As I've stated repeatedly, the two industries - health care and mobility - need to walk in lockstep to support and enable mHealth.  This is also true with the media.  Yes, even CNN.

Last week CNN Money ran a three-part series on spectrum (the airwaves required to carry your mobile call or data connection), "Sorry America: your wireless airwaves are full."  The series pointed out the need for regulators to quickly auction unused spectrum and for companies to develop innovative solutions to optimize the finite airwaves available to run all the content-rich applications and services craved by consumers and businesses.

Even the media doesn't understand that you really can't do one without the other.  I think these two reporters need to chat with each other.

mHealth - not the fitness apps or the fun apps that are nice to have - requires the highest and most consistent level of quality connections available to ensure there are no blips in the delivery of services.  Fun is nice, but true health services provided over a mobile device is a different story.

The mobile industry is working feverously to design and deploy new technologies to optimize the existing airwaves, but the auctioning of unused spectrum is more than a year away - so that may mean that broad adoption of mHealth is still a way off.


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