Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, but there is a trend that I am noticing as I learn more about mHealth: the companies involved are not new to most of us. There are of course traditional healthcare companies, like GE who has been around since my grandpa was young, as well as any number of start-ups of various sizes, but what is becoming increasingly more common is other large companies expanding into the mHealth market.
Some of these companies may not be too surprising, such as AT&T who has a variety of interests in mHealth. The obvious reason is because they own a huge portion of the mobile phone market. As more mobile apps are developed, it is important for them to support the technology necessary for those apps to operate. Not to mention creating mobile networks so that the customers can access their phones in the first place.
Perhaps the less thought of reasoning is the huge number of people that AT&T insures, both currently working for them, and those who have already retired. By improving healthcare they will also lower their costs to insure people.
Last week I wrote about how Ford is entering the market to help improve drivers’ health. It would not be at all surprising to see all of the other major automakers follow suit once they see the success Ford is having, and I have every reason in the world to believe they will be successful.
Cisco is another company that is becoming hugely important to the healthcare market as they help hospitals establish more reliable networks. Through the installation of WLAN networks, doctors and nurses are able to more reliably access the information they need to take care of their patients. As these networks become more reliable, hospitals will become more inclined to take advantage of the benefits they provide.
There is no doubt that technology, and smartphones in particular, will increasingly be a part of our lives. Some people get freaked out because they feel like machines our running our lives like we are in a movie or something. As for me, I think any technology that can improve our quality of life, and in some instances save lives, is the kind of technology that we need to be pursuing.