New Apple Developments will Likely Spur Mobile Health Innovation

If you’re reading this blog, you most likely saw the pop-up/interstitial Intel ad that asks “Is Cloud Computing Right for You?” Steve Jobs apparently thinks so. The Apple impresario announced the company’s most talked-about offering, iCloud, at its Worldwide Developers Conference this week, among a number of other new developments that have stirred Apple fans to new heights of evangelism. Mashable.com staffers have been keeping up with conference developments and announcements pretty well.

If you’re reading this blog, you most likely saw the pop-up/interstitial Intel ad that asks “Is Cloud Computing Right for You?” Steve Jobs apparently thinks so. The Apple impresario announced the company’s most talked-about offering, iCloud, at its Worldwide Developers Conference this week, among a number of other new developments that have stirred Apple fans to new heights of evangelism. Mashable.com staffers have been keeping up with conference developments and announcements pretty well. Based on their reports and my own interpretation, it seems the majority of Apple’s latest technologies will – should our industry so choose to accept this mission - spur healthcare IT innovation in one way or another.

Though I, unfortunately, don’t have any Apple stock to bet, I’d wager that mobile health will see the biggest benefits as these technologies trickle down from developers to consumers. Here are my thoughts on what’s been announced (and rumored) so far:

1. iCloud

In a very small nutshell, iCloud is Apple’s new cloud computing service, which enables users to store content wirelessly, and pushes that content to all Apple devices, regardless of which one content was initially downloaded to. Signing up for the service gets you 5gb of free storage.

Implications for Healthcare: Perhaps making the cloud “cool” will lessen any remaining hesitation providers have about storing sensitive data in the cloud – no matter the vendor. This, of course, is barring any unforeseen hiccups such as recently experienced by Amazon.

I’m not sure how far-reaching the downloading-to-all-Apple-devices feature is, but with providers’ increasing use of iPads, it seems this might be very valuable in mobile health/telehealth settings, especially when it comes to sharing medical images.

2. Rumors of Embedded Speech-Recognition Technology

While not specifically addressed at the conference, rumors have run rampant lately that Apple will incorporate Siri and Nuance speech-recognition technology into its new operating system. According to Mashable, this could “transform the iPhone from a mobile computer to a smart device with the capability of assisting you in almost any situation.”

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