Yesterday’s announcements from Apple are exciting not only for consumers who want the latest features in a smaller, less-expensive smartphone, but also for those upgrading their healthcare communication solutions. With pre-orders of the Apple iPhone SE™ starting this week, we’re anticipating a lot of interest from hospitals that will appreciate the $399 price point and smaller form factor, paired with the same specifications as the iPhone 6S.
When Voalte introduced smartphones for point-of-care communication in 2009, it was the iPhone 3GS that took the place of outdated pagers and legacy phones. Nurses loved the sleek design and the ability to text with co-workers in the same way they exchanged text messages in their personal lives. The 4-inch display of the new Apple iPhone SE measures just a bit larger than the 3.5-inch 3GS, and is substantially smaller than the 5.5-inch display of the 6 Plus.
What this means for hospitals that depend on Voalte for care team communication boils down to one word: Choice.
Just as Apple has committed to developing hardware that supports the enterprise, Voalte has increased our dedication to giving customers more choices. We believe each hospital should be able to customize their communication solutions to suit many different needs. While nurses at the bedside clearly want a sleek, easy-to-carry communication device, others may prefer a larger form factor that lets them view detailed information from the electronic medical record or physiologic monitors.
Yesterday’s announcement also included Apple CareKit™, a new, open-source software framework that takes ResearchKit™ a step forward by allowing patients to not only document their health data, but also monitor their medications, symptoms and care plans. The company’s investment in the healthcare market is evidenced by its partnerships with leading hospitals to test and develop apps that advance medicine and empower patients.
That commitment to healthcare makes Apple an even stronger partner for Voalte, as we combine the powerful software solutions of Voalte Platform with numerous hardware options and complementary applications. The increasing support for enterprise mobility in each iOS release is another important factor for the healthcare market. Last year’s iOS 9 release brought important changes that make the iPhone more attractive to the hospital IT teams that implement and manage hundreds or thousands of smartphones, and I expect the new operating system will continue this trend. (See Ewan Spence’s recent Forbes article for more on Apple’s improvements in enterprise mobility.)
This market continues to mature and we’re excited to be a part of it. We’re looking forward to what’s coming next in iOS 10 and beyond.
Alex Brown is Director of Strategy at Voalte.