There’s something a bit ironic about what I see from my 17th Floor window at the W Hotel in Times Square today. The ad for Good Housekeeping says “Looking Good”, but there’s nothing good about what is happening to the view of the Square. As you can see, a gigantic steel framework is obstructing the bright lights of Broadway and soon there will be no view at all. And don’t even get me started on the crashing and banging that shook my room at 7 AM sharp this morning.
I’m in New York to keynote at an event sponsored by Microsoft and our Windows Mobile partner AT&T. About fifty customers and partners have joined us for an afternoon of information sharing on the role of mobility and mobile solutions in the health industry. Following my presentation the audience heard from AT&T Vice President, Abhi Ingle. Later in the day, Scott Bedrick of Pfizer spoke about some of the latest mobile solutions for the Life Sciences.
All speakers agree on one thing. The cell phone has become an indispensible tool not only for business but for each and every one of us in our personal lives. And, of course, it is much more than just a telephone. It is a very powerful, networked computing device. As such, we are only now beginning to uncover its full potential in health; in the management of chronic diseases, as a tool for accessing timely information, as an essential device for capturing information, as a way to collaborate across time and distance, as a means to interact in new ways with our patients, and as a platform for education and entertainment.
Physicians and other clinicians were among the first users of cell phone technology back in the days when airtime was pricey and devices were clunky and extraordinarily expensive. The reason for this early adoption despite the cost is clear. Communication is an essential component in clinical workflow. Clinicians are mobile workers, and the cell phone enabled both communication and mobility. But we have barely scratched the surface on the ways these devices and mobile solutions will play out in the future. Now, in my opinion, that is a view that is truly “looking good”.
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft Corporation