Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Power of Digital Cameras on PDAs, Handhelds and Smartphones

In this morning's newspaper there was an article called, "With New Smartphones, Doctors Reinvent the House call." The article relates how a Doctor can use a smartphone, PDA or other handheld computers to quickly view x-rays and give advice remotely. Other applications mentioned were for perusing pharmaceutical libraries and for showing educating patients with anatomical drawings. Although each of these applications are useful, I believe the real power comes from the ability to remotely collaborate with other team members that can all look at the sames information, in high definition and exchange real time data and thoughts. It is amazing what can be accomplished with these new mobile devices.

Digital Cameras in handhelds, PDAs and smartphones are becoming very powerful tools. Today, Sony Ericcsson announced they have included a 12 mega pixel camera in one of their new smartphones called the Idou. In the context of the healthcare field you can image how useful 12 mega pixel photos can be to healthcare professionals where clarity of x-rays, ultra-sounds and other images are critical.

There are many other uses for powerful cameras, crystal clear images and high speed data connections. In the context of the military or field engineers, they ability to see clear satellite images of objects on the ground is very important.

Several years ago I worked on a mobile project for the state of Washington in the USA. They were doing erosion surveys around rivers and creeks. They could do in-depth studies on river erosion from satellite images, but in designated areas they wanted to look at particular events on the ground. Rugged handheld computers with excellent screens and clear photos allowed them to quickly identify objects and geological events on the ground that required a closer look. The GPS coordinates led them to the exact location and then clear photos helped them survey specific areas.

The ability to move data, in real time, from office computers and database applications to mobile devices is a complex task. The ability to quickly develop custom mobile applications that provide you with both data collection capabilities and the synchronization of data from the office takes special technology developed by companies such as MobileDataforce and others.