News 4/8/10

comScore MobiLens

comScore reports February 2010 U.S. mobile subscriber market share. Smartphone ownership is up 21 percent to 45.4 million people from December through February compared to prior 3 month period. According to the report, RIM owns 42.1 percent of the market, with Apple coming in second at 25.4 percent. The trend seems counter to a lot of recent discussion about RIM. Apple’s stagnation is not surprising, given their limited market – makes speculation about a Verizon Wireless CDMA-supported iPhone later this year all the more logical. The biggest gainer – Google Android. Biggest loser – Microsoft. Palm’s declining market share is perhaps more foreboding than Microsoft’s. Palm is losing share in the wake of a full-on press with the Pre and the Pixi.

Apple to discuss iPhone OS v4.0 on April 8th. No sooner than the iPad’s out the gate, Apple is hosting an invitation-only event on Thursday to discuss OS v4.0. Little is known about the event, but luckily that does not prevent speculation. Most likely to be disclosed – multitasking, higher screen resolution, support for a second camera, unified email inbox, and next generation hardware. Apparently Apple’s not planning on sitting on that 25 percent smartphone market share.

I came across this interesting article published in the San Francisco Chronicle. Apparently researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have figured out how to turn a cell phone into a microscope, and it’s not just a gee-whiz solution. The engineers have teamed with some physicians to test the device in Uganda, which has one of the highest tuberculosis rates in the world…Just one more example of why cell phones have so much promise in developing countries.


AT&T plans $1B investment in 2010 in network capabilities, solutions and applications for businesses… Interesting, but a bit challenging to discern where the rubber meets the road given the press release covers just about every existing and potential line of business in which the company competes. Nevertheless, healthcare gets a couple of specific shout-outs, including the AT&T Healthcare Community Online initiative – the company’s cloud-based health information exchange (HIE).

In case you missed it, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers doubles iFund to $200m. The iFund is a venture capital fund targeting companies that deliver innovative solutions using the iPhone OS family of products, including iPhone, iPod touch, and the iPad. Originally established in 2008 as a $100m investment pool, the original iFund is fully committed across 14 companies. The fund is particularly interested in healthcare related solutions using the iPad.


There’s been a lot of talk lately about medication non-compliance, and for good reason. According to the Institute of Medicine, there are more than two million adverse drug events per year, and nearly 100,000 medication-related deaths. I came across an article by Linda Kallman in TMCnet about a company called MedMinder that has been testing a wireless pill organizer to support medication adherence. The solution, called Maya, looks like a 7 day pillbox. It uses a built-in cellular modem to communicate activity to a MedMinder server. Individual compartments within Maya flash at the appropriate time to notify patients when it is time to take medication. If the compartment is not opened within the allotted time, a patient can be notified by auditory prompts as well as with optional phone calls, text messages, or emails.

ZigBee Alliance

Newly ratified Zigbee Health Care profile now available for public download. ZigBee Health Care provides a global, open standard for interoperable, low-power wireless devices enabling secure monitoring and management of noncritical, low-acuity healthcare services targeted at chronic disease management, elderly care, wellness, in-patient and asset tracking. In June 2009 the Continua Health Alliance, endorsed ZigBee Health Care as Continua’s low-power local area network (LAN) standard. The Board of Directors has ratified ZigBee Health Care and made the standard publicly available.

Another company joins the secure SMS mix … Globaltel Media launches MedAlirti SMS text solution with imagery and video to improve communication in healthcare. MedAlirti enables images, audio and video files to be sent as SMS text messages to any multimedia capable wireless device, regardless of carrier.

Skype Mobile

Finally, Skype Mobile now available on Verizon Wireless. I mentioned the alliance between Skype and Verizon Wireless back in February. The solution is now available. Here’s what you get:

  • Free Skype-to-Skype calls and IM with Verizon Wireless
  • Skype is ‘always on’ to receive calls anytime
  • Skype-to-Skype, IM and global calls from Skype mobile™ without using your wireless plan minutes
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