Policy Documents

A Mobile Device Is Not Your Grandmother’s Telephone Anymore: It’s A Mobile Health Center

Deborah Taylor Tate –
January 7, 2013

In this essay by Deborah Tate, asserts that smart phones represent technology that is changing our lives, enabling us to gain new research and insights into disease through collaboration of the best minds in all parts of the world, sharing data points in a cloud or a success story in a remote village.

Many new high tech discoveries are driving Health interests, including:

  • Ubiquity of wireless
  • Explosion in sensors
  • Reduction of storage and computing costs
  • Collaborations as a reducer of testing costs
  • Ubiquity of electronic health records. Huge data banks and data mining techniques
  • And, finally, the consumer who wants to have access to all of their own health information as well as to drive their health and wellness decisions.

Delivering healthy babies, living longer, developing drugs more quickly, and pushing best practices into healthy delivery sooner are all side effects and secondary byproducts of this technological explosion. Mobile devices are a game changer for the welfare of all people everywhere, especially with regard to the delivery of health services.


Deborah Taylor Tate is a Distinguished Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Free State Foundation and a former Federal Communications Commissioner. She is the first ITU Special Envoy for Child Online Protection. This Perspectives is adapted from remarks Ms. Tate delivered October 17 at the ITU Telecom World 2012 conference held in Dubaiin October 2012. Her remarks were sponsored by Verizon. The Free State Foundation is a nonpartisan, Section 501(c)(3) free market-oriented think tank located in Rockville, Maryland.