Excitement for Mobile Health Sensors Will Fuel Innovation in Health Care

2013-10-09-Henry_Tirri_headshot.JPG By Henry Tirri
Henry Tirri is the Nokia Executive Vice President and CTO.

As the technologies enabling the mobile computing revolution spread beyond smartphones, sensors and data analytics increasingly have the ability to unlock secrets of our health. A massive force of this revolution is that by using sensors, mobile health will become available, visible, and usable to people everywhere. The second competition of the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE is shaping up to prove this and push the edges of innovation even further.

The first flames of innovation are already burning. Early consumer devices such as smart watches and tracking bracelets are the beginning of capturing data and obtaining insights to drive better dietary habits and improve exercise regimens. These same technologies can have an even more profound impact for those who lack access to advanced, or even basic, healthcare due to poor infrastructure or limited resources.

To have the largest effect, it's vital that we continue the development of these technologies with both fitness and fundamental health in mind. The dual impetus will lead to better, more useful products on the consumer side. It will also enable life-saving technologies to scale more quickly and make use of the efficiency and reliability of the mobile networks and computing infrastructure.

A great potential for mobile computing is the possibility it offers for individuals to surpass limitations imposed by their local conditions, such as lack of roads or traditional communications infrastructure, or political or social conflicts.

Imagine one day being able to deliver the benefits of a fully staffed healthcare facility with unlimited resources and top of the line diagnostic equipment, entirely though a device that's totally portable and requires very little power to run.

The teams competing in the two Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE competitions are helping us take the first steps towards that reality. As we saw in the results from round one, we can already achieve real results, and there's even more we can accomplish in the coming months and years.

That's why we're excited to see what new ideas and innovative thinking come out of the second competition. We encourage all inventors, engineers and others who care passionately about health and technology, in all parts of the world, to enter. By working together, we have the chance to radically improve people's lives across the globe. The only limits on the possibilities are those who choose to accept.

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