At last week's "mHealth Solutions and Policy Forum" hosted by the wireless industry association CTIA, wireless carrier Sprint was the only carrier to participate and demonstrate a few of the healthcare solutions its wireless network currently supports.
During the event, Sprint demonstrated these mHealth services:
REDFLY Mobile Companion, developed by Celio, is a 2 lb device that acts "as a smartphone terminal and extends all information from the smartphone to the big screen and keyboard, allowing physicians to use their smartphones like a laptop," according to the carrier. The REDFLY Mobile Companion links to smartphones via USB cable or wireless Bluetooth connection and extends the Windows Mobile interface.
mVisum, which is a "mobile application that allows physicians to securely receive, view and respond to patient data recorded at the point of care" (POC) on their smartphones. The mVisum STEMI Alert System allows transmission of ECGs and other patient data directly to a physician's Blackberry to reduce the amount of time it takes for a diagnosis to help lower door-to-balloon time, according to the company's site.
Creative inPerson, which is a video conferencing application that enables communication between healthcare providers and patients and costs around $700 per system.
While these products demonstrate that wireless carriers have been supporting the healthcare industry for some time -- 30 years in Sprint's case, according to the carrier -- that support is largely helping physicians and hospital staff become more efficient. To date, the opportunity to leverage the mobile phone and other wireless technologies to further the rise of the empowered patient is an opportunity that third party applications have done more to realize than the wireless carriers themselves.