Mobile Industry Views Health Care as Growth Opportunity

Most executives in the mobile technology industry say health care represents the biggest growth opportunity for 4G services, according to a new survey from Deloitte, MobiHealthNews reports.

For the survey, Deloitte interviewed about 250 senior executives who worked for mobile device manufacturers, mobile network operators, software application developers and other mobile technology firms. Researchers finished analyzing the data in August 2011.

Key Findings

The survey found that 78% of the surveyed executives view health care as the most promising growth area for 4G services, followed by the retail and financial industries (Dolan, MobiHealthNews, 3/21).

In addition, 85% of respondents predicted that open operating system environments -- such as Android -- ultimately will dominate the mobile technology market within the next three years.

According to FierceMobileHealthcare, the dominance of open operating systems could create challenges in the health care industry, which has a high adoption rate for iPhones, iPads and other iOS tools (Jackson, FierceMobileHealthcare, 3/20).

Overcoming Hurdles

In the report, Deloitte wrote, "Before the real breakthroughs occur on a scale required to address escalating health care costs, mobile health adoption needs to build momentum by overcoming some important hurdles."

To overcome such hurdles, the report recommended that mobile health proponents:

  • Conduct more trials of mobile health technology; and
  • Align the prices of mobile health technology with existing consumer electronics price levels (MobiHealthNews, 3/21).
Wayne Caswell
Android has largely caught up with iOS in accessibility features and is now starting to add Bluetooth Smart support, but the vast differences in Android implementations on different mobile devices could limit innovation of Android mHealth apps when compared to the "nicely controlled" iOS ecosystem. Attractive standards-based development platforms include JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, and cross-platform development tools like KonyOne, which supports 7 operating systems. These tools can be used for low cost and quick time-to-market for most app functions except for those requiring OS and device specific features. Those special features still require native code.

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