Last week, comScore released its most recent data on key trends in the U.S. smartphone industry. It’s no surprise that Google Android leads with 52 percent OEM market share, while Apple holds 42 percent. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that Blackberry clings to a mere 2.3 percent of the market.
It was a different story six years ago, when we first launched Voalte. At that time, very few healthcare leaders could have anticipated that smartphones built on Android or iOS would be the preferred communication device at the point of care. In fact, many hospital executives told me they would “never use smartphones in their hospitals.” Others pressed Voalte to develop software for the BlackBerry, which they saw as a more stable communication platform for caregivers. Most were steadfast in their support of legacy communication devices with limited capabilities.
Today, the makers of those legacy devices are converting to smartphones. Motorola, Honeywell, Spectralink, Ascom and Vocera have clearly recognized the value of smartphones in healthcare, and are shifting their product lines to reflect market trends.
The report from comScore came only a week after Voalte announced a partnership with Spectralink to offer customers the PIVOT™ smartphone with the Voalte One™ application. As a Spectralink SELECT Reseller, Voalte will sell PIVOT integrated with Voalte One, giving customers an end-to-end smartphone solution. In February of this year, we announced a partnership with Motorola Solutions to combine the communication functions of Voalte One with the Motorola MC40-HC, a healthcare-grade Android device.
Our collaboration with other technology companies is just one example of how the mHealth space is changing. Many products are beginning to overlap, and companies that were previously competitors are now collaborators. For customers, this may cause some initial confusion as they figure out how different mHealth vendors and their technologies can work together. (Take a look at our Technology Partners page to see how Voalte ties in with a wide spectrum of third-party systems.)
It will be interesting to see how the next 12 to 18 months unfold in this very active industry. Currently, hospital executives are debating the usefulness of new technologies entering the market, such as Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Google Glass. Not surprisingly, the naysayers are claiming they will “never use these devices in their hospitals.” These are likely the same folks who believed so fervently in the Blackberry.
Trey Lauderdale is Founder and CEO of Voalte.