News 3/24/10

Dell Aero

AT&T expands industry’s leading lineup of popular smartphones. The carrier has added the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus, and will soon unveil an Android-based smartphone from Dell – the Dell Aero. This will be Dell’s first smartphone available in the U.S., and will feature a custom user interface developed by Dell and AT&T.

Vitality GlowCaps

Also from AT&T… Vitality GlowCaps utilize AT&T wireless network to improve prescription medication adherence. GlowCaps are intelligent pill caps that fit on standard prescription bottles and use light then sound reminders, which can be followed by a phone call or text message so people don’t miss a dose. In addition to supporting and tracking medication compliance, data generated by GlowCaps can be used to automatically refill prescriptions as pills deplete… Pretty cool stuff.

Unbound Medicine

Unbound Medicine announces the release of Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (CCDM) for Mobile + Web. The American Public Health Association (APHA) has partnered with Unbound Medicine to deliver the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual on the Unbound Platform. CCDM for Mobile + Web includes the latest on identifying, managing, and preventing hundreds of infectious diseases, as well as public health news feeds and links to journal abstracts and citations.

Motorola MC75

An interesting article by Sascha Segan from PCMag, “Windows Mobile 6.5 Finds a Niche in Business.” The article is reminiscent of a conversation I had with Scott Garmon, Sr. Product Manager, Mobility Systems, of Honeywell at HIMSS. Despite the current buzz of Windows Phone 7 Series – a pure consumer bid, Microsoft is not in any hurry to drop Windows Mobile 6.x where it has a dominant share of the enterprise digital assistant (EDA) market. EDAs are the mobile devices of choice for many organizations in industries like retail, transportation, healthcare, and the military. Motorola, for instance, which announced the new Windows Mobile 6.5-based MC75a at CTIA in Las Vegas, has sold more than 850,000 units of their most popular devices, MC70 and MC75… It will be interesting to see how diligently Microsoft continues to support the legacy OS as newer operating systems, such as Android, make headway into the EDA market.

Avaya helps small healthcare companies enhance customer service, gain new efficiencies. IntrinsiQ, Bay Shore Medical and SPEAR Physical Therapy all recently selected Avaya’s IP Office, a communications solution for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Avaya recently launched a new version of IP Office that features enhanced unified communications (UC) capabilities and makes UC up to 40% more affordable for many small businesses… Congratulations on the wins.

Diversinet’s new MobiSecure SMS provides healthcare organizations with secure and protected SMS communications. The solution includes a lightweight mobile handset client application that secures communication via any wireless mobile device using the existing SMS infrastructure capability from the mobile operator or service provider. Encryption and strong authentication provide security for both one- and two-way messages, and a remote access wipe capability enables users to erase sensitive data in the event a mobile device is lost or stolen.

Verizon Wireless

Enterprise messaging from Verizon Wireless offers secure, rapid, cost-effective business communications to mobile phones… Not sure this is anything new, but hey it’s Verizon at CTIA. I’m willing to give them their props. They just wanted everyone to know that industries ranging from healthcare to education rely on Enterprise Messaging from Verizon Wireless to send large numbers of 450-character text messages to their workforce or customers from their "in-house" messaging applications or directly from an online self-serve portal.

It also helps highlight some of the same messaging that was pervasive at HIMSS – there is a lot of interest in enterprise communication. I would be among the first to caution against mistaking vendor messaging for genuine market interest. However, in lieu of direct input from a statistically significant sampling of buyers, I believe it’s not always a case of the tail wagging the dog. Sometimes you can actually tell a LOT about what the market is collectively saying by listening to what vendors are telling the market.

For years we’ve been talking about the convergence of mobile devices, and while we may not be there just yet, we’re pretty darn close – and that device is looking more and more like a smartphone. It only stands to reason that enterprises should seek to converge the communication channels into a single platform or conduit. It’s fascinating to watch secure enterprise SMS gaining traction in healthcare as a standalone functionality, literally as some of the traditional telecom heavyweights hone the UC message. Where do these firecrackers, like Voalte and Wallace Wireless’ WIC Pager, fit in the mix? Does an organization standardize on an enterprise device like Blackberry, or do they support consumer devices? Like the fabled Hydra, every answer seems to generate twice (if not 20x) as many new questions. I suggest anyone drafting the 5-year communications plan use a pencil. Stay tuned.

Finally, congratulations to Ingenious Med founder, Steven Liu, MD. Dr. Liu is among the more than 150 hospitalists nationwide who have earned the inaugural designation of Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine (SFHM).

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