Smartphones Making Mobile Healthcare More Sophisticated

In late 2010, John Moore of the Chilmark Research blog heralded mobile technology as a looming “disruptive” force in modern healthcare. “And with disruption, opportunity blooms,” Moore added.

So much opportunity is now on the horizon in 2011 that Chilmark estimates that the enterprise m-health market will top $1.7 billion within three years.

Pushing the rapid growth of the m-health industry is the breakneck pace of global smartphone adoption and tablet computers, which is simultaneously cultivating the enterprise usage of mobile applications.

Just last week, in fact, the US Food and Drug Administration granted mobile health start-up Mobisante clearance for its smartphone-based ultrasound system dubbed “MobiUS.”

MobiUS, in brief, is an innovative – and largely affordable – mobile ultrasound imaging system that uses a smartphone and Internet cloud services. Ideal for everything from maternity wards and to cardiac treatment facilities, the MobiUS system not only provides instant and and reliable results, it also makes getting a “second opinion” remarkably expedient. Since MobiUS is based on smartphones it can leverage cellular networks or Wi-Fi to send images to a remote expert for diagnosis, or to a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) for storage.

According to prominent tech blog Engadget, the FDA is a “major seal of approval, and pretty much allows the company to move forward with plans to get ultrasound technology into remote villages and rural hospitals where it’s simply not feasible to purchase a $20,000+ system.”

Despite some naysayers who believe that growth in mobile healthcare will be limited, the rapid advancement of mobile technologies as well as the enterprise adoption of those technologies suggest a dramatically different reality altogether.

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