The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, meeting place of all that is new and shiny in the mobile business, gave unexpected attention to the subject of mobile healthcare. As well as announcements by the GSMA Development Fund and UN Foundation on the progress that is happening in the developing world, the GSM Association also hosted a panel session on mHealth, which I was fortunate enough to moderate.
Alongside me were David Neale of Telus and Brian O’Connor of the European Connected Health Campus. Both are pioneers in mobile health and excellent advocates for the subject. The biggest question we all had, which we posed to the networks and service providers is “why aren’t you doing it?” The examples shown by the GSMA’s “Doctor in your Pocket” report show that mobile phones can play a persuasive part in healthcare. Yet network operators in the West constantly reject health applications in favour of content. It doesn’t need to be like that.