iPhone 4 release steals health 2.0's thunder

The week has barely started, and already there have been two significant events that could have an impact on mobile healthcare.

The first-ever Health 2.0 Goes to Washington conference is underway in our nation's capital, offering an East Coast look at all the hope and the hype inherent with health 2.0 technologies. I'm not there, so I'm relying on other people's coverage to keep me informed. In scanning the news wires and the blogosphere, I don't see a whole lot out there so far that's related to mobile healthcare. And what is out there seems to be too consumer-focused for FierceMobileHealthcare's tastes. Stay tuned.

A potentially more important development happened Monday on the West Coast. As you may have heard, oh, just about everywhere, Apple introduced the iPhone 4. People in all sorts of industries, including healthcare, are sure to put the new version to good use.

HealthLeaders Media already has reported that the higher-resolution screen the iPhone 4 offers will be great for anyone who uses healthcare apps. With four times the number of pixels than previous versions, the new iPhone can provide high-res training for surgical procedures via several specialized apps. Two apps, both developed at the University of Utah, incorporate animated, 3-D images of CT and MRI scans and allow students to conduct virtual dissections on images of a cadaver--no extra dead body necessary.

Just as we've seen from previous releases of the iPhone and iPad, I'm sure there will be many more apps to follow that take advantage of Apple's latest creation, some more whiz-bang than others. And unlike with many health 2.0 companies that have come and gone in recent years, there's a paying market for smartphone and tablet apps in healthcare. - Neil