IXDS pre-work talk

Stopped by the IXDS pre-work talk today in Berlin.

Subject was the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.


One thing that struck me was one of the presenters said he didn’t understand the firefox pursuit of the 25 dollar smart phone. Arguing that they should focus on the wealthier european market. “Who wants a cheap smartphone?” he asked.

I didn’t argue the point, and perhaps in the short time he had to explain, I was not fully understanding, but…..

Here’s the thing.  There is evidence that mobile devices are showing some preliminary positive results in encouraging diabetes self-mangement (Kirwan, et al., 2013).

And many people who need diabetes care the most, are people who don’t have access to good medical care, nor do they have much money.

Now to be fair, how effective apps are in health management is still controversial, but I am going to go out on a limb here, and say that the power and engagement of smart phones is going to be more effective than a previous generation cell phone in health support.

So if this proves to be true, it seems that from a public health standpoint cheap smartphones are probably a good thing. Let the rich have iPhone, many need a really cheap alternative.

dmitri katz

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