Mobile

Vital signs are strong for health tech in 2014

Health tech
December 19, 2013

2013 has been quite an amazing year for mobile. It was the year we saw the first waterproof mobile, the first curved touch screen and Android devices continued to fly

2013 has been quite an amazing year for mobile.

It was the year we saw the first waterproof mobile, the first curved touch screen and Android devices continued to fly off the shelves at an alarming rate.

I’m a huge fan of Android and when it comes to Christmas this year, I can only hope that I find a Google Nexus 7 under my tree. I don’t have a smaller tablet and at 7” it’s the perfect size for my daily commute, while still big enough to enjoy an episode of “Mad Men”.

But as I look back at 2013 I view it as a year of wearables. We saw trackers of all shapes and sizes emerge to help us quantify more of our lives than ever before. FitBit, Jawbone and Nike Fuelband are just a few gadgets that became super popular this year and I think that is only set to continue in 2014.

In fact I think it will get a whole lot more serious. I think apps, gadgets and devices will help us enter a whole new world of health monitoring and diagnosis.

Smartphones are already breaking down this barrier. Did you know you can read your heart rate on your smartphone camera? How long will it be before our mobiles can do an eye test, hearing test or bloody test?

As smartphones become more powerful, they will break down the barriers for healthcare and give a basic level of medical diagnosis to everyone with a device. By providing a cheap and easy alternative for unessential diagnostics, smartphones can help reduce the strain on medical staff and give real power to users.

As such, I can foresee smartphones becoming even more important and personal than they already are. Smartphones already contain our personal messages, emails, photos videos and hold access to our social networking and web logins, but if the trend for health monitoring continues, I can imagine each of us carrying around our detailed medical history in our pockets.

Obviously, there is something very convenient about having our medical details in our pockets but it raises privacy and security issues too.

The battle between our digital privacy and our desire to upload our lives to the cloud is set to be another big story of 2014, but that is one for another time…


December 19, 2013


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