Many years ago when I co-founded eForum to promote what was then called “eGovernment”, it was common for smart speakers to begin their conference presentations by saying that it’d soon be plain “government”, which indeed it has been now for many years; around the world, government sector workers have embraced technology to offer huge improvements in quality of service to citizens at reduced cost. Sadly health services have proved far more resistant to the beneficial use of technology, so eHealth & mHealth seem likely to take rather longer to lose their prefixes, in spite of pleas from the VA. If any support for this view was needed, the telehealth news from the flat earth society of a recent survey of GPs conforms it may yet be a while.
It’s therefore reassuring to see that technology is rapidly creating a version of telecare without the final “e”. Following on from our report earlier this year about Ford & Welldoc, this short, excellent, video from the BBC points to all manner of goodies for car drivers as Apple and Google line up with different car manufacturers to offer a range of in-car apps. As Prof Mike Short (who kindly alerted me to the video) comments “Imagine what this may mean for Telecare in the Car”. Connected cars, ECall for Emergency Services (because of EU regulations), Safe driving/Hands free measures and EV charging solutions for Electric cars are all features apparently likely to feature at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, where at least ten telecars are rumoured to be being put on display.
Not wishing in any way to be a party pooper, the one area that concerns me is the mismatch between the push for longer lives for cars and the very rapid pace of development of mobile technology. It’s all very well changing your phone when a new mobile technology becomes available; perhaps not your car though?