Plenary sessions honor telehealth's roots, spotlight industry's growth

Dr. Martin Cooper
Dr. Martin Cooper invented the modern cell phone.
The evolution of the cellular phone from mere communications device to irreplaceable technology remains truly amazing, a progression no one likely understands more than Sunday's initial keynote speaker, Dr. Martin Cooper (pictured). The founder and CEO of both GreatCall/Jitterbug and ArrayComm, Cooper also conceived the idea for the first portable cell phone in 1973, and brought it to market roughly a decade later. 

Cooper's experience will be paired with the expertise of New York Times personal-technology columnist David Pogue to make up the American Telemedicine Association's opening-day plenary session, which starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. Pogue should offer an interesting take on the mobile health industry and where it's headed, as well, considering he has co-written several books in the "for Dummies" series, and is considered to be one of the world's premier how-to authors. 

"Dr. Cooper and David Pogue will provide a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges of consumer-based healthcare cell phone applications," ATA CEO Jonathan Linkous said in a statement. 

As intriguing as Sunday's plenary session should be from a technology perspective, Tuesday's breakfast plenary, which begins at 8:30 a.m., will provide context with regard to the importance of that technology. Instead of spotlighting one or two influential, yet well known figures in the telehealth world, the ATA will share a successful, life-saving telehealth story from three perspectives: the healthcare provider, the patient's family, and the patient.