Almost thirty years ago, I became an early adopter of what was then called cell-phone services. When my phone arrived, I had to go shopping for a separate back-pack to carry my new phone. It was the size of a large brick; two bricks actually one for the phone and the other for the battery. I had moved ahead of my peers, because I was now digitally connected, even if I rarely took it out of my car.
A few years later, I moved down to a smaller brick, the Blackberry, which was more convenient, but still just a mobile phone. Today, I am rarely a few feet from my iPhone. However, it is no longer “just a phone”. In fact, my actual telephone call usage is less than 20% of the time I spend using this device. There are several devices that I rarely use anymore, like my desktop computer to check on my e-mail, or search the web. I only use my land line telephone as a second line while I am on my mobile phone, or to respond to persistent individuals who are not satisfied with just leaving a voice mail.
These individuals are also the ones that send me text messages, because they feel the need to reach me immediately. I don’t know why, I am not a doctor, whose patients require immediate attention. My daughter also uses it to inform me that dinner is ready, so she does not have to yell at me from downstairs.
The future of Mobile Devices
Mobile devices have moved past the exchange of information, to providing critical medical services. Olive is currently developing apps that allow patients to upload blood test results and enable doctors to monitor patient’s progress remotely. The bi-directional communication eliminates the need for weekly visits. Doctors can also review monthly charts and prescribe medication changes if necessary. With connectivity to other apps, prescriptions can be delivered to the patient. In the not too distant future, your device can instruct an insulin pump to increase or reduce insulin. Olive has other clients who provide mobile devices to inspectors working in the agriculture industry to manage food safety.
Developing a Mobile Strategy
As the proliferation of these devices grows, applications for their uses are growing exponentially. Who would have considered that charity and other non-profits would use them as bidirectional fund raising devices? Yet after every major disaster, the ability to contribute from your mobile device is an option. Political campaigns now use a mobile strategy to collect donation and measure public opinion. There are those who suggest that mobile phone communications were responsible for bringing down governments in the Middle East.
Two mistakes that many organizations make, are first assuming that an internet or web strategy is the same as a mobile strategy. They are not. The experience and impact in a mobile strategy is broader and faster moving. The second mistake is not getting expert assistance. Whether you need is to distribute information and product, solicit sales or donations, or communicate with service providers in the field, each task requires specific design, architecture and user interface. Do it yourself applications, rarely address the full strategy.
At Olive, Mobile Strategy is one of our strengths. Give us a call, and we’ll help you develop a plan and implement it before your competition does. Also, we can do it for a lot less time, effort and money than you thought possible.