I spent Monday and Tuesday this week covering the mHealth 2013 Summit in the DC Metro area. The summit covered technology and health care, both in developing and developed countries. Technology, both hardware and apps, were a major element of the conference, and I kept my eyes open for some interesting consumer-focused products and sessions.
Considering the tech focus, it was nice to see technology used in interesting ways throughout the conference. Overall, their selections improved the experience.
It started with check-in. There were mobile badge printing stations at registration, so you didn’t have to wait in line for a badge. We received a QR code in our confirmation email, and the process was quick and painless. Doesn’t the badge look sharp?
There was an HTML5 app for the conference, and it downloaded quickly to my phone, even over the slow(ish) WiFi. (I had to remind myself that there were possibly 50 or more people using it at any particular time.) Of course, the app had the schedule, speakers, sponsors and everything we had in the printed conference booklet. But it had a few nice extras. You could star your favorite exhibitors and take notes directly in the app. I used the note feature for some reminders about what I’d seen at vendors. Notes could be emailed. I found it helpful and a great addition to the conference. I saw several people using them to take notes at sessions, so I wasn’t the only one.
Another cool tech feature were the scanners used by some of the exhibitors and the people checking us into sessions. I assume they used them at sessions to track who attended. In the vendor hall, however, exhibitors who used the scanner captured my contact information for follow up emails. Very cool!
Considering that I love tablets and smart phones, I enjoyed observing what other attendees were using. This is an international conference, and many participants were from other countries. I noticed that iPads ruled in the tablet space. Most of them were regular-sized iPads, but I did see a few Minis. There were few 7″ tablets, meaning that Android was not well represented.
In the smartphone space, however, the opposite appeared to be true. Since smartphones are smaller, I can’t be certain that I noticed a representative sample, but I saw far more Android-based phones (mostly large ones like Galaxy 4s and even a few Notes) than iPhones.
Of course, there were also plenty of laptops and netbooks, but I saw enough note taking on tablets and smartphones to support news reports about the imminent demise of the laptop.
The rest of the articles in the series will be about specific gadgets I saw and the seminars I attended. Look for articles on wearables, gamification of health and even something we could almost call a tricorder. Stay tuned!