How much longer will ‘mobile’ be different from ‘living’?

The news that the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week broke all attendance records is hardly surprising, given the way mobile communications are inserting their way into almost every aspect of life. It does though make one wonder how much longer the MWC can retain it’s broad focus as communications mobility becomes indistinguishable from normal living (and additional accommodation in Catalonia becomes harder to find). Indeed, as mHealth News pointed out last week, mobile comms keeps people living, worldwide

Not all age groups have been able to gain the same level of benefit from mobile comms though, most notably older people. It is therefore great to see Doro working ever harder to produce appropriate devices for this age group. At the MWC, Doro unveiled their infographic celebrating 40 years of progress.

Their latest offering, the Doro Secure 580 IP Easy, has dual SIM capability so as to be able to offer a goodly range of telecare services as well as easy-to-use telephony, programmable if necessary by a third party. When Doro first told me of their mobile telecare offering, I did worry how an older person’s telecare control centre would know if the house caught fire when they were out, or flooded. However as Kevin Doughty pointed out at the Royal Society of Medicine’s Telemedicine & eHealth Section’s sellout event on Recent Developments in Digital Health last Thursday, the Internet of Things is now filling that gap with an increasing range of SIM-enabled devices able to raise alerts independently of the telecare dispersed alarm unit.

Another infographic that shows how far the mobile world has changed was recently produced by the European Commission, showing the progress from 1G to 5G. Worth a look. I’m not sure it quite captures the clunkiness of early mobile phones though – the London Underground Lost Property Office in Baker St., London, has an interesting window display just now of items never recovered by their owners, including one of the very first ‘mobile’ phones…and to think I once looked at them with envy!

Hat tip to Prof Mike Short for the MWC & EC links – his MWC preview video is here.

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