Big firms disappoint with weak mobile health efforts at Health 2.0 Europe

Much like its more-established counterpart in the U.S., the first-ever Health 2.0 Europe conference, held earlier this month, was heavy on mobile technologies. Though we would have loved to be able to make it over to Paris--and better yet, make it back, given the all the European airport closures this week--we're grateful to David Doherty of Irish telehealth and mobile healthcare software company 3G Doctor for giving an unvarnished review of the event on the company's blog.

Doherty panned mobile health efforts from Pfizer--"the latest big brand to fall victim to iSyndrome e.g., to think that developing something for the iPhone constitutes a Mobile Strategy"--and French mobile telecom Orange. Of the latter, Doherty wrote, "What I saw was an iPhone Application that let you locate clinics by type and location. I couldn't see anything that couldn't be produced with some basic cookie cutter software. Nothing leveraging Orange's network or expertise. This is the type of content I'd expect to have found on the mobile portal OrangeWorld... 3 years ago!" 

And other telecoms are not high on Doherty's list, either. "To my mind Orange is the best of a bad bunch and this is typical of the stark need for change that operators face as they attempt to serve the rapidly emerging mHealth market," he said.

Doherty, however, was more impressed with the efforts of small, grass-roots developers, though many of those had interesting products lacking viable business plans.

For more commentary:
- read this 3G Doctor blog post