By Tim Swift, The Baltimore Sun
11:06 AM EST, December 4, 2012
Your smart phone is often thought of as unhealthy. It can make you anti-social, be a danger while driving and probably makes you fat (doesn't everything?). But hundreds of health experts are gathering in Prince George's County this week to discuss how a mobile device can make you healthier.
The mHealth Summitt is talking about a lot of intriguing stuff including house calls via video chat, using games as teaching tools and apps that monitor blood pressure to prevent strokes. Yet a lot of the focus of this year's conference is on using mobile devices as health tools in developing countries.
Some of the technology is relatively simple like text messages reminding new mothers about the next steps in their pre-natal care. Many of the attendees are also connecting the dots and seeing how these ideas, while intended for developing countries, can have applications in poor, urban areas of America, like Baltimore.
Of course, the conference can come off as a bit of rah-rah commerical for the health care industry. But some of the chatter on Twitter from conference goers brings up a good point, why isn't there a blockbuster health app that people actually use? Apple's App Store is full of them and if you're anything like me, you've downloaded them, but the apps are now relegated to the final screen on the iPhone. The conference runs until Friday.
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