As I roamed the more than 1 million square feet of gadgets at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I was disappointed with the lack of innovation on display in terms of mobile healthcare (mHealth) offerings.
As I’ve said before, the future of mobile healthcare will be defined by the software that’s integrated with the devices we already carry with us everyday — our cell phones. At CES, nearly all the offerings on display were hardware-related, and most had to do with basic health monitoring using bulky, cumbersome devices that consumers will likely resist to adopt.
As I see it, we already have the hardware available in terms of smartphones necessary to facilitate the innovation in healthcare that we’ve all been promised for a long time. Creating software to run on these devices is the direction we need to go, not introducing brand new devices that consumers will be forced to wear or install in their homes to benefit from the new wave in digital healthcare.
Monitoring is a prime example. There were numerous watch-like devices that consumers would have to wear, or bulky plug-in appliances that go in consumers’ homes on display at the show, and it just doesn’t make sense. Why not create a smartphone application and possibly a small, unnoticeable sensor that integrates with the smartphone itself to do the same thing?
As the revolution in digital/mobile healthcare is poised to present one of the largest advances in technology that we’ve seen to date, the future is in the software, not the hardware.