Photo Credit: Datadyne.org
Last week Vital Wave Consulting noted that a number of large technology vendors have made investments in mobile health initiatives for developed markets. Vital Wave pointed out that the timing was probably meant to coincide with the U.S. government's plan to invest $20 billion into modernizing healthcare. GE and Intel recently announced a joint $250 million investment over the next 5 years to develop remote patient-monitoring devices, a market the companies expect to grow to $7.7 billion in three years. Qualcomm also recently announced support to sponsor The West Wireless Health Institute in San Diego to support the development of wireless sensing applications and help other wireless health products get to market.
Vital Wave Consulting lamented that the announcements by Qualcomm, GE/Intel, and previous ones made by Microsoft and Google are "curiously confined to mature markets". Government investment in the U.S. system aims to manage healthcare costs, an aging population and care for chronic conditions. Drivers of remote healthcare in emerging markets include, the need for better healthcare in remote areas and the goal of initiating-- not just fixing-- comprehensive and efficient health records.
"The companies that achieve the most mileage out of their healthcare investments," the consulting firm writes, "will be those that consider mature and emerging markets in tandem, and if necessary develop specific solutions for each market."
Vital Wave Consulting helps the Vodafone Foundation and UN Foundation Technology Partnership manage the recently announced mHealth Alliance.