Mobile technology: the incredible impact on our lives

iPad used to enable communication for otherwise incapable patients

I have been passionate about mobile technology for decades. At first, mobile devices weren’t very mobile, and a strong back and arms were needed to lug them around. They always had to be near an outlet, because the batteries did not exist.

The technology that drives mobile devices has improved a lot since that time, and especially over the past decade. Mobile gadgets have become smaller, more powerful, and very useful. They are everywhere and play an increasingly important role in almost everyone’s life. The availability of mobile devices is spreading rapidly around the world and bringing significant improvements in many lives.

It’s worth taking a break from our obsession with the smoothness, lightness, and adaptability of mobile gadget hardware. While wondering what the next big phone or tablet might be is fun, it’s not all. What matters is how much it improves our lives and the major roles these gadgets take on.

Mobile technology, in the form of phones, tablets and laptops, is making our lives better than ever. It does this in several ways, not the least of which is to make communications routine. We can be in touch with those we need to reach, whether professional or personal.

We can send important files to almost anywhere in the world in seconds, so business can be handled when it’s critical. We can collaborate with colleagues in real time, regardless of their distribution. We can get confirmation or approval of vital decisions on the spot. Mobile technology has changed the way we do business for the better.

Villagers in third world countries who do not have local health care can be diagnosed and prescribed treatment by distant health care providers.

Communication has a tremendous impact on our ability to stay close to our friends and family. We can talk to them at any time to find out how they are doing. We can have video chats not only to keep in touch, but to reach out and touch with an almost physical presence. Loved ones can share special occasions at great distances as if they were in the same room. We can make faces at our children when we can’t be there with them, which is more important than it looks.

Brave soldiers who valiantly serve our country in distant lands can see their newborn babies thousands of miles away.

Never have we been able to share so much with our friends and family as we do today, and that is in large part thanks to mobile technology. Without mobile devices and the technology behind them, social media participation would never have increased so much. Sharing seemingly insignificant information like where we are, what we’re doing, and what it looks like has a significant impact on our relationships with our friends and loved ones.

Mobile technology has given a voice to those who would otherwise be cut off from the world during cataclysmic events. This voice can call for help when a local tragedy strikes and, for the first time, these people are not alone. They can share their plight using mobile communication through text, voice and, most importantly, images, and make real change.

On a lesser note, we can do simple things like pay for parking at meters with our phones. We can know which bus we need to take and where to find it. We can accurately find the places we need to be even when we have no idea where they are. We can explore new places and find new things that interest us with little effort.

We have more information in hand than at any time in history. It has become second nature to quickly search for useful resources for any activity that we need to do. Our gadgets can even anticipate the information we need and present it to us when it’s most useful.

These everyday uses of mobile technology, as futile as they may seem, have transformed us into a society more closely connected to each other. We have real friends through such connections, even though we may never have met them in person. We can converse with like-minded people all over the world and just as easily debate people with different points of view. It stimulates conversations never possible before, and the resulting friendships are just as strong as those in “real life”. They have become real life, in fact.

While mobile technology has improved our daily lives on many levels, it has profoundly improved the quality of life for many. Healthcare is one field that has embraced mobile technology, and although it is still in the early stages of adopting this technology, it is already bringing profound improvements for many.

Healthcare providers can review home medical tests from anywhere and make critical changes in patient care. Medical staff can receive pacemaker tests remotely using a phone and modify the device’s programming to respond to changes in the patient’s condition. Doctors can view complex diagnostic images on phones and find conditions that require immediate treatment, all while the patient is comfortable at home.

Villagers in third world countries who do not have local health care can be diagnosed and prescribed treatment by distant health care providers. Patients living in areas with significant issues with counterfeit drugs can use a point-of-purchase phone to confirm whether a drug is legitimate. It saves lives and improves healthcare every day for those affected.

Children with conditions such as autism use tablets to help them focus and communicate with those around them. Patients recovering from strokes and brain damage use tablets wisely for their recovery. Patients of all ages use mobile devices to communicate with healthcare providers and their loved ones like they never could before.

People born without hearing have implants that can be programmed through wireless technology that allows them to hear their children speak for the very first time. Text messaging on phones has had a huge impact on communication for the deaf.

pump-with-meter
Blood glucose meter and insulin pump

People with diabetes can monitor their glucose levels and wirelessly transfer it to a small insulin pump that injects just the right amount to keep them where they need to be.

Blind people can use smartphones not only to improve their lives, but also to achieve an incredible level of independence. Not only do these phones talk to blind people so they know what’s on the screen, they also have software that can guide them safely through busy cities. Mobile technology can help blind people choose clothes for the day that are right for them. Technology on smartphones can analyze currency received from a purchase and tell them how much has been given.

This article only scratches the surface when it describes the benefits that mobile technology offers today. Technology changes rapidly and will be even more useful over time. We are in a fantastic era of mobile technology, and it is positively exciting to see it unfold. When I stop and think about all the incredible benefits we get from this technology, I get goosebumps.

It’s fun to wonder what the next tablet or phone will look like and what capabilities it might have, but these are just details. The improvements that appear in our daily lives, and in society in general, are what really matters.

Mobile technology enriches our lives. It is giving a voice to those who do not have one, either because of circumstances or medical conditions. It is to make communication possible for those who live in a vacuum. It’s about keeping close loved ones far away and building friendships no matter the location of those involved. It saves lives and makes health care possible for those who are otherwise deprived of it. It brings the world closer together – a truly incredible situation.

It is an exciting time to watch mobile technology. We don’t know how far we will go with the technology of the not so distant future, but it will be a fantastic race.

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