17 Nov 2010

Trends in mHealth, the next big thing or not?

dcktn logo 2010A round up of last week’s super event sponsored by our friends at DCKTN on key trends in mHealth from Mobile Monday London regular columnist, Lauren McGregor – over to you Lauren.

mHealth is been one of the things on my 'one to watch' list for quite some time and so when I heard that the next Mobile Monday London event was going to be on this subject, I was very excited. The healthcare industry is one that thrives off new technology, whether is is through innovations within the equipment used or the developments in the medicine prescribed – technology advancements are rife and there has always been a strong tradition in research and development. mHealth is a wide topic and means different things to different people, including the ways that mobile are designed to make the processes within a doctor-patient scenario run more smoothly and efficiently, both for the benefit of the doctor's schedule and the patients recovery. The kind of applications available include devices that allow the patient can spend more time at home though monitoring devices that share information with their doctor, and those that can be used directly by the doctor for reference/note-taking purposes. Many of the benefits of mHealth revolve around time-saving, faster recovery times, better monitoring systems and also, and less obviously, hygiene improvements are high on the list too.

Rather then me rambling on about what I know about this industry, I will pass you over to our panel of experts for this evening with experience from all corners of the globe. Including Mobile Monday Austria's founder, Mark A.M. Kramer, Grow's Barry Flaherty was in from Qatar, Founder and CEO of Regpoint, Sophia Salenius had flown in from Sweden to join us, chaired by LinkedGov's founder, Hadley Beeman. Unfortunately, Robyn Glen from NHS Choices could not make it due to illness.

Sophia Salenius, who is also a registered nurse as well as a successful entrepreneur, kicked off the debate telling us about the clinical trials that Regpoint carried out with PDAs in the early 90s. The PDAs tracked and recorded symptoms and medical information, correcting the levels of medication that the patient required. The trials were carried out on patients with Parkinson's Disease and following the trials, those involved fed back that their quality of life which went from 'bad' to 'good' to 'never been better' in only three months – doctors also reported patients’ health improved. If you would like a copy of the white paper please contact Sophia directly. The positive impact to patients is clear, however as Sophia points out, there are a number of different players that need to be in sync – operators, doctors, patience, content providers, developers – with issues surrounding security and transition across a multitude of handsets on the market.

Hadley Beeman continued that there is a real need to connect the whole ecosystem together, through data collection, research, decision support, diagnostics and telemedicine. Hadley illustrated one of the biggest problems faced with an example of the NHS, where there is not just one department but several hundred that the developer will need to deal with – each with its own security infrastructure. mHealth is something that the NHS investing in though, most recently with iBleep, which uses tablets and PDAs to locate the nearest doctor with relevant skills and location within the hospital. Mark Kramer added that mHealth could be a great case study for the industry to help us to develop the standards needed for all mobile applications.

The issue of security and the inevitable privacy concerns were raised from our audience. There is a definite need for a regulatory environment and certainly no spam – the panel agreed that any data stored should be encrypted and not linked directly to a patients name/NHS number. But one huge question lies, who should/will fund these additional security systems and infrastructure needed to make mHealth work, perhaps the billion pound pharmaceutical industry?

As with much of the adoption of new mobile technologies, mHealth is picking up pace in lesser developed countries. One such region is India, which is seeing rapid advancement with mHealth services – is this a good way to change attitudes in EU and other regions? The US has also been an early adopter and it is common place to turn your mobile device into a medical tool. Also, things like social media – using Google to search your symptoms – is a popular way to diagnose symptoms and you can track these searches and see the spikes in those searching flu symptoms for example and then use that date to map and track regionally. That could be a very powerful tool. So we can see that consumers are already happy with using technology to support their own wellbeing.

Adoption of services is an issue, but what is the biggest barrier to full rollout? The panel all agreed that this is largely the clinicians – who have their routines and specific ways of doing things, and although many of the younger generation are keen to adopt new technologies, many are still stuck in their ways – it takes time and energy to get used to new systems. To get around this issue, a huge education plan needs to be implemented, when computers were introduced many years ago, there were the same barriers and yet, these are now widely used, and so it should be just a matter of time to get clinicians to move from computer to mobile – a device that all clinicians have anyway. When asked why they are not keen to adopt mHealth technologies, many clinicians commented that they had been turned off by cold calls from sales people and worried that patients would think they don't know what they are doing if seen reading off a mobile device rather than a more formal-looking computer screen. We as an industry need to show them the benefits of mHealth and counteract these worries.

The theme that ran through the whole of this event was the need for better inter-communication and one single set of standards to be used globally (which is a big ask). It is a theme that we see again and again in mobile, we need to get together and share ideas, standards and reap the benefits – this includes operators, content providers, developers and the consumer – in reality can this happen or is it just a crazy dream...?

Thanks for that Lauren.

And it wasn’t only Lauren who was paying attention… Simon Judge did a write up of the event and was as thorough as ever – Permanent Link to MoMo London on mHealth and he also wrote a post this week linking to some new mHealth research which could be of interest to folks interested in this topic - Permanent Link to mHealth Report. James from The Fonecast also covered the event in their weekly podcast  and includes an interview with Sophia Salenius http://thefonecast.com/?item=475  and wrote about it too – http://thefonecast.com/Opinion/tabid/87/EntryId/3473/Whats-the-value-of-mHealth.aspx. You’ll find some more links to coverage – words, audio and video, and further resources, up on http://lanyrd.com/2010/momolo-november/coverage/ and if you took photos or wrote a blogpost about the event, please do let us know and add your link in the comments so we can include it. If you’re wondering who the lady was from the UK asking lots of questions and sharing some great insights, it was Sam Walmesley. You can find her blog here http://pharmadigital.wordpress.com/ where she talks about where digital meets pharma marketing.

Demo night – Autumn Edition – Roundup from Lauren McGregor and Helen Keegan

It feels like it was ages ago, but it was in fact only a few weeks ago that we held one of our much loved MoMoLo Demo Nights – Autumn edition … a night of some of the best developments in mobile and it delivered! The app market is one of the most crowded and hard to get into in mobile and on the night we showcased some very interesting new-comers indeed. We had everything from security, to planning, to gaming … and as always some fantastic presenters.

Our sponsors for the evening were LUMU Invest who stepped in at the last minute to ensure that we were able to run the event. A very big thank you to Muriel Devillers for her support. LUMU Invest are part of the team behind EuropeMob and UKMob and so the evening began with a short introduction from Julien Fourgeaud from UKMob (or UK Mobile Association) to tell us all about it Julien introduced us to the mobile application landscape taking us on a journey through the many facets in developments across the consumer, governmental, corporate and hackers/developers ecosystem within the market. He stressed the need for this ecosystem to come together, as great ideas come from everywhere … from the student in their dorm room to the developer sat within a mobile operator. On this basis Julian and his colleagues decided to build an association to do just this, organising matchmaking, seminars and conferences to connect these very different people together.

Then we got straight into the demos …

Psonar. First to the start were the chaps behind Psonar http://www.psonar.com/, Martin Rigby (CEO) and Chris Moores – one of my favourite things about a new solution is that looks to resolve an issue that we have all experienced … that sad moment when we lose our mobile or have it stolen or it becomes damaged beyond repair, and (in some cases) it dawns on us that we have lost all the data on our phones. Psonar specifically addresses this issue of losing your music by creating a fully online and streamed music service with an additional social side too. The solution is accessed via the mobile phone web browser, using QuickTime, and includes features like playlists, artists, albums etc ... looking fairly similar to Apple iTunes interface. Touch gesture rearranges any of the tracks. What I liked about this solution is that being web based, there is no need to download anything from an app store. The obvious question of the legalities/rights of the music was raised and Psonar does not currently own a license from the publishers. However, Psonar offers music publishers an interesting new revenue stream via micro payments (partnered with Bango where they can build as a kind of 'eBay for music' - allowing users to sell their music. A very interesting proposition and one that we saw last year at Heroes of the Mobile Screen. It seems to have come on quite a bit since their pitch to the Teenage Heroes.

Roulette Cricket. Next up was Dave Tharp, from Roulette Cricket (they recently came second and won Euro 50k in this year’s Vodafone Mobile Clicks competition) who has created an ingenious application surrounding the game of cricket … The idea first came to Dave when he was at Lords and his group were deciding who was going to buy the next round of drinks. It is essentially a live games app played during a live game of cricket. Each match is segmented into 18 (hence Roulette) and displays interactive feeds of live cricket, where you can play for prizes and bet on matches .... the app is currently free to download and the play for prizes works out around £2 per month and the team take a small revenue from the (optional) betting. The game can be adapted to other sports – baseball, football, whatever. A lovely idea indeed and well executed. The rise in popularity of gaming is certainly going to work in this app’s favour. Currently available on iPhone. Other platforms coming soon.

Phil Woodward had a dream, a dream to connect the real world with online world and lo Hipsnip was born. This is a web based mobile app notepad, the key differentiator being that it is action orientated – for example the movie you want to see or the bottle of wine you want to remember to buy. You can enhance your notes with a social element, add geo tagging and even barcode scanning. The results are designed to be 'smart results' not static notes, for example if I was to make a note of something that I have seen that I wanted, like a new laptop, the note will be linked directly with say a review of it on CNET. You can view your notes in the form of ‘snips’ via a Twitter styled feed. As we are hearing more and more about tablet style devices like the iPad making waves in the business world, I am sure that the two would work well together. One to watch.

Toshl. Then next to take to the stage was the very charismatic, and I have to say one of Lauren’s favourite presenters of the evening, Andraz Logar, the CEO behind Toshl. The Slovenian based team, who had spent the weekend building stuff at Over The Air, has created the app to track spending and exposes your poor spending. Built for Android, Apple and Maemo based devices, you can add expenses and sync them all live via the cloud. The solution currently has an impressive 45,000 users, with 3000 expenses tracked every day. What makes this app stand out from the competition is that it does not attach to bank, so it can be used globally, including places where bank accounts are not the norm. Excitingly though the team is in negotiation with a UK bank, and the potential to white label its service makes it a potentially huge revenue generator from the team. Is this a rival to previous demo’ers, Ribot and their Little Spender service?

Travel Plan. Many of us have had to travel for work and it is not long before the novelty wears off and the need for a seamless trip becomes paramount. That is where Travel Plan comes into play, a name that you may well recognise as it is currently a successful desktop application that has been on the market for the last 12 years. Mark Melody demoed the mobile version (iPhone only for now) of the app, which is essentially an offline tracker for the frequent traveler. I like that it is offline as we do not always have WiFi available and the high cost of data roaming is an instant turn-off for us all. The application not only acts as a travel planner for you, but also allows you to check for fares and availability of flights offline and also works for hotels and car hire. You can send updates directly to email and even to your social network ... should you so wish.

Myappmarks. Self confessed newbie to the scene, Adrian Cuthbert, had one of the most interesting propositions on the night and one that certainly got the audience’s attention. His application, Myappmarks, is an intelligent way to bookmark the apps that you love and discover, via the cloud. Currently in beta and available on iPhone, the application searches your local area via your mobile and identifies say Foursquare and allows you to instantly check-in and/or download the app direct from the app store.

Milestone Planner. Social Optic's Benjamin Ellis came to tell us about his Milestone planner (who were also shortlisted for the Vodafone Mobile Clicks competition this year)- everyone needs a plan and plans all the time when shared. Everyone can update this shared plan from anywhere and it is previewed as a timeline including any key milestones ... for example, the next seven days. The solution includes full RSS and twitter integration, facilitating a discussion around the a plan. The team is looking into further device integration for e.g. Dell Streak. Another cool thing about this planner is that you can produce reports directly, this can be on a daily, weekly or any other basis. The app currently runs in a freemium model with paid for add-ons. One of the interesting things about this service is that it recognises that not all the people using your plan are linear thinkers and the way the app works means that it can accommodate that too.

Qootia. Tomaz StolfaQootia - Tomaz began his demo with a video, which you can view on the website, and this describes his solution perfectly. Basically it is a real time game that the public can directly interact with via their mobile phone. The team first trialled the game during the World Cup and set up in 12 bars across 6 cities over a total of 45 matches. Users were encouraged to dial in to compete against other bars in a game of penalty shoot out. There were a number of innovative controls, but one that I thought was great, especially to get the crowd excited, was to scream down the phone to set the power of penalty shots. 95% of those that played did not opt out, which is phenomenal and has immediate implications for the gaming and advertising market. This is a lot of fun and had the audience playing very quickly to show how powerful this is as a concept. Based on voice technology, this isn’t about downloading an app or mobile web which means it’s ultimately accessible. Great to see old technology thought of in a new way.

Spodtronic. Mikko Linnamäki CEO - spodtronic.com - we all know about app store radio stations, in fact there are 480 apps for radios in the app stores currently. Mikko and his team decided to create one place for all these apps to live and generates income via advertising. This app would certainly be an attractive addition to the phone, giving you access to all the radio stations available via one single app. They have apps for most smartphone platforms and shared with us how important Nokia and Symbian were to them in terms of downloads and usage and showed a live waterfall infographic showing how many people were using their systems and on which platform. Nokia won hands down. IPhone obsessives – take note!

Next for the 'Over night hack-a-thon' winners from Over the Air ....

Robot love. Mobile Monday London regular, Adam Cohen Rose - won Best Hardware Hack and Best Use of Other Features. Adam has a thing for robots. He likes to build them and this year at Over The Air, he built a robot out of Lego and devised a way for it to follow him around using the iPhone 4's face recognition software. The robot has a light sensor that picks up square on the iPhone 4 when it identifies a face ... hilarious demo, with many of the audience trying to trick the robot into following their face and rather than Adam’s. It showed a very human side to technology and also was a glimpse into how we might be interacting with machines in the future.

Lobster. Audience Favourite and Most Cheeky App Award - well it had to go to the Lobster App, demoed by Tom Hannen - an iPhone app (not approved and/or submitted we might add as we don’t think TFL would like it) that simulates the oyster card beep (I guess the team call this the lobster app beep…) and as seen in the video they showed us (see below), fools the bus driver. Great fun and kudos to the team for the pre-planning that went into this so that they had the time to go and do the filming. Follow the team’s antics here @lobsterapp.


And last but not least, we had drama from Ewan Spence. He likes to go a little over the top at Over The Air each year, and this year was no exception. Ok, so we didn’t have Cyber Men or Daleks this year, but I think I liked the Drone much better anyway. It was an innovative use of using an iPhone or iPad as a remote control able assisted by Ewan’s great comic timing. Ewan's drone was controlled remotely by iPhone and iPad, it had an on board video camera, and was definitely a show stealer and well deserved the Best in Show Award.  You can see them in action at Over The Air in the video below – it’s great fun and worth a peek.


So that’s another demo night over. A big thank you to LUMU Invest for sponsoring the event and for all the wonderful people who took the time to share with us what they’re up to. And a special thank you to the participants of the Over The Air  overnight hackathon who suffered sleep deprivation in order to entertain and inform us.

BizSparkCamp, A Technical Day focused on Windows Phone 7 – 29 November 2010

I’m pleased to let you know that Bindi Karia has invited me, Helen Keegan, to speak at the next BizSparkCamp on 29 November. It’s a technical day focused on Windows Phone 7, (although my session won’t be the least bit technical – I’ll be talking more about trends and opportunities) and is being held at the Microsoft Customer Centre near Victoria station.

I’ve been playing around with the latest Windows Phone 7 – I have an LG Optimus 7 – and I rather like it. I like that the operating system doesn’t look like any other on the market, yet is still intuitive. It’s fast, responsive and the screen and audio quality are great. The camera is good too.  And I never thought I’d be saying this about a Windows Phone as the track record until now has not been strong. It’s a contender so should be considered accordingly as part of a mobile strategy.

So here’s the blurb about both the phones and the event and maybe I’ll see some of you there:

Windows Phone 7 is a different kind of phone, designed to bring together what you care about most. Its smart design lets you do more in fewer steps. Its intuitive Hubs, for People, Music + Videos, Pictures, Games and Office, means we bring things together for you so you can do what you need to do more quickly and easily. With this new platform, Microsoft offers a fresh approach to phone software, distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that bring to the surface the content people care about from the Web and applications. For the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone, exclusively on Windows Phone 7. “Microsoft has nailed it. Windows Phone 7 feels like an iPhone from the future” (Jesus Diaz, Gizmodo)


What: BizSparkCamp: A Technical Day focused on Windows Phone 7. It is free to attend.

When: November 29th 2010, 11:30am – 5:30pm, followed by networking reception. Light lunch will also be served.

Where: Microsoft Customer Centre, in the Microsoft offices, Cardinal Place, 100 Victoria Street, SW1E 5JL.

RSVP: To register, please go to http://bit.ly/bHxa36 and enter Invitation Code: FD8513

Microsoft BizSparkCamp for Windows Phone 7 is a technically focused day designed to offer assistance to entrepreneurs, in particular, the CTOs and developers/architects within Technology Startups.

  • Learn to build new applications on the Windows Phone 7 platform (via a series of technical briefings)
  • Potential Nomination for BizSpark One (an invitation only program) for high potential startups
  • Generate marketing buzz for your brand

Microsoft BizSpark is inviting registrations from Startups interested in Windows Phone development. Register now for your chance to learn the latest development techniques with Windows Phone and your chance to meet other startups who have already developed and successfully launched apps on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.

So in case you missed it, to register, please go to http://bit.ly/bHxa36 and enter Invitation Code: FD8513

15 Nov 2010

Proxima Mobile European Call for Proposals – deadline 30 November

A European call for proposals for innovative mobile applications called Proxima Mobile has just been launched. This is an opportunity to access a grant subsidy of up to 45% of total project costs covering R&D and innovation work expenses.

In order to foster the development of pan-European mobile services, and especially those related to “digital cities”, the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research and the Secretary of State for the Development of Digital Economy are launching the Proxima Mobile European call for proposals. This call for proposals will be coordinated by the Delegation for Internet Uses, and it aims to help create mobile applications and services useful for European citizens as well as tourists visiting the European Union.

Projects submitted to the call for proposals should be related to transportation, arts, travel and sustainable development. They should be geared toward the creation of accessible and user friendly mobile applications, especially for least experienced users.

Eligible applicants will be companies, associations, public institutions or territorial communities with registered offices in the European Union. Applicants may submit proposals individually or as part of a consortium. This call for proposals also aims at fostering cooperation between European companies in order to promote the cultural, geographical and environmental endowments of Europe.

The winning proposals of applications and services will be granted subsidies for their implementation. They will also be featured on www.proximamobile.eu, the European portal of mobile services for citizens, which promotes European general interest services on mobile devices.

Get those thinking caps on and act now if you wish to apply as the deadline is midnight (Central European Time) 30 November.

Those key points again:

  • projects submitted to the call should be related to transportation, arts, travel and sustainable development .
  • project should be geared towards the creation of accessible and user friendly mobile applications, especially for least experienced users .
  • you may submit proposals individually or as part of a consortium
  • eligible applicants are companies, associations, public institutions or territorial communities with registered offices in the EU
  • while this call is sponsored by the French government, it is open to all SMEs within the EU.

All details and applications forms at: http://www.proximamobile.eu/cfp Check there for any interim deadlines that may apply.

Games Gone Wild event – London, 17 November

kemp little logoOur friends at Kemp Little have tipped me off to an event they’re running this week looking at the investment appetite for companies involved in digital gaming.

Kemp Little invites executives from media companies, investors, entrepreneurs working in the digital publishing and games space and journalists to join them at Games Gone Wild! on 17 November, where Nicholas Lovell from Gamesbrief will be posing the question:  All bark and no bite: are investors really interested in games?

The demise of Realtime Worlds may have spooked investors, but was enthusiasm for the games industry in Europe waning even before that?  Many investors have looked at the games industry closely, but few have made substantial investments in 2010. The panel of luminaries on the night will discuss whether investors are still interested in games and if so, what are the areas that are still attracting investment? The panel of leading commentators and industry experts includes Ben Holmes from Index Ventures, Thor Gunnarsson from CCP Games, Alexis Bonte from eRepublik and Andy Moseby from Kemp Little.

The event is taking place on 17 November at Patch, a chic cocktail bar near St. Paul's, on the lower ground floor from 6.00pm (panel discussion from 7.00pm – 8.00pm).  As always, Wi-Fi is available for those who want to tweet the latest gossip.

The event is organised by Kemp Little  - the UK's leading law firm for technology, digital media and games companies (and Mobile Monday London’s legal advisors) (with thanks as always to Michael Acton Smith of Moshi Monsters).

Space is limited, so the event is listed as invite only, but if you register your interest via this link here (or by email to events@kemplittle.com) and tell them that Mobile Monday London sent you, Kemp little will try their best to squeeze you in.  

2 Nov 2010

Trends in mHealth–the next big thing or not?

Our next Mobile Monday London event on Monday 8th November is on the topic of mHealth. Now it’s not an area I know a lot about personally, save for my dentist sending me very useful reminders by SMS for my dreaded appointments, but from talking to a few people about it, I know that mHealth is big news. And our sponsor, DCKTN, certainly thinks so too.

So that’s what we’re going to cover. We’re taking a look at the latest trends in mHealth in the UK and the Middle East, including a look at innovation and what the key issues are that need addressing with mobile solutions. We’ll find out what some of the opportunities are for mobile companies, large and small, and how to tap into those and if it really is the next big thing or not.

Moderating the session is Hadley Beeman, Founder of LinkedGov and specialist advisor to health organisations. And then on the panel, we have Robyn Glen from NHS Choices, Mark Kramer from the University of Applied Sciences in Austria, Barry Flaherty who is International Business Development Director for Grow in Qatar, Sophia Salenius who is CEO and Founder of Regpoint. With such an international flavour to our panellists this time, and a wealth of experience in mobile health services across the globe, don't miss out on this event!

So that’s 8th November and the venue is the CBI at Centrepoint and doors will open as usual at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. The panel discussion will run for about an hour and 15 minutes and then there’ll be drinks and networking afterwards.

Please register and RSVP at http://momolo.org.uk/

Please also note that we will be sharing the RSVP list for this particular event with DCKTN.

See you there!