I was fortunate to be selected by the AT&T Developers program to present the Androiter application at CTIA this week. We were not selected as one of the two finalists in the open category, but the presentation went well and the judges were impressed with the application and asked many intelligent wide ranging questions. I was impressed with the quality of the judges and their familiarity with the terminology and issues in Healthcare generically and remote monitoring specifically.
The CTIA show was chock full of interesting and exciting new products relevant for Mobile Health. There were new Android Phones and Tablets on display from Samsung, HTC, and LG. Motorola was also showing their new Xoom but that seems almost old at this point since it was introduced at CES in the first week of January. Samsung had both their new 8.9" and 10.1" Galaxy Tabs under glass and not available for hands on testing. They had units that we could test and play with but they are not the ones that will be released in early June. Apparently the iPad2 introduction caused Samsung to make last minute changes to the dimensions and pricing of these 2 new Tabs. I don't know if you caught the news but one of the executive VP's at Samsung was quoted in Korea that the iPad2 was exposing Samsung's Tablets as inferior and requiring rework. So, the units we had our hands on worked quite well but the ones under glass were thinner and sleeker and will be less costly once released. It is amazing that Samsung will be able to retool these two Tabs that quickly. Overall I was impressed with the new Tablets and Honeycomb is much more appropriate than the Froyo on the tablet. Samsung was also showcasing their new Android Player PDA's which were 4" and 5" Galaxy S phones without a CDMA or GSM phone radio. These were gorgeous devices, more like Google Nexus S than anything else I have seen. They came in white and black. Since they are the Android equivalent of an iPod Touch, they will likely be priced in the same range or slightly less than $229-$399 based upon memory. Although I understand Samsung's desire to match up product for product with Apple on the most popular consumer electronic categories this product will not be very cost effective in the Mobile Health arena. We are currently buying LG Optimus phones for $150 with no contract and using them as PDA's or phones with a low cost SIM plan from Virgin Mobile. When comparing the Samsung Player to the LG Optimus, the only real advantage for the Player is likely to be battery life which will be difficult to justify for the additional money. Speaking of cheap android phones for Mobile Health, I talked to 3 or 4 Chinese manufacturers who were offering very attractive Android phones that were significantly lower cost than the LG Optimus. I plan to order sample quantities of as many as possible and test them. If we can acquire phones for <$100 and negotiate low cost data only plans it should significantly increase the systems we can put in the hands of the poor and disabled groups who are hard pressed to pay for premium phones. Speaking of LG, they probably had the most interesting phones at the show. They introduced their new LG Optimus 2X with the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core processor. It is an attractive phone that sets new benchmarks for speedy performance. LG was also demonstrating the LG Thrill, the first 3D Smartphone. It was really amazing. I am not a huge 3D fan and I don't know any applications in Mobile Health that are relevant but it certainly was cool. I will cover more phones, Tablets and other medical discoveries from CTIA in my next post.