Today’s mobile phones aren’t just phones. Even the most basic mobile phone includes a camera, video games, texting interface, calendar, clock, etc. I bought my grandmother, who just turned 86, her first mobile phone a few weeks ago. It was impossible to find a phone that met my grandmother’s criteria which was simply to have keys with big numbers & a large screen so she could see what she was typing. Who knows, maybe my grandmother will be texting & downloading ring tones soon.
For some consumers, the mobile phone is seen as a status symbol. This is especially true for the youth market that purchases phones. For many others though, the mobile phone has become an essential part of life & is how many of us conduct our daily business. It’s important for a stock investor to have Internet access so s/he has realtime stock updates when not in front of a computer. It’s important for many software engineers to have text messaging as a way of being alerted of something not working correctly. It’s key for a sales person that is on the road to have access to e-mail. Because network speeds & bandwidths are increasing we are seeing more & more applications being developed for the mobile phone. As these applications become more available, consumers who aren’t already will begin to use their mobile phones for functions other just making phone calls.
How about this approach to using a mobile phone? In London, the mobile phones of teenagers & young adults who are undergoing chemotherapy are being used as notification agents to the patient’s doctor. These teenagers & young adults record data about their symptoms into their mobile phones & when specific symptoms were recorded the mobile phone will immediately alert the hospital & the patient will then then be contacted from staff at the hospital.
As the baby boomer population continues to age & require more medical attention I foresee more mobile-medical friendly applications presenting themselves.