As we know, interest in the application of mobile technology to health care (mHealth) has been increasing since 2008, with a focus on curing and improving patient outcomes (mCare), and reducing or entirely avoiding disease and illness, and addressing the impact of accidents and natural disasters. In a recent interview with founder and CEO of PoKos, Timo Platt demonstrated a new point-and-chat feature that I’ve never seen before. I immediately thought of a powerful use case in the field for this concept.
Imagine you’re at the center of a devastating earthquake and you are perched high on a pile of debris trying to find your family buried in the rubble. A few hundred yards away is a mobile rescue triage team that has arrived to help search for victims. You hear faint cries from your position but you need help. Rescuers and desperate family members across the city are listening intently for cries for help, so everyone is maintaining silence as the work continues to find trapped people. You pull out your smart phone and you point it at the triage tent. You focus your camera on the tent and tap a button that connects you instantly into a chat session with rescue workers. You explain your situation; the chat session is handed off to a team of three people who emerge from the tent and head straight for your location.
Sounds like science fiction, but PoKos has developed precisely this solution. I could envision a dozen different ways a technology like this could be used to stitch together advanced rescue and medical services needed by disaster teams worldwide. While this technology was first envisaged for outdoor social events, Point-and-Chat™ could provide a mobile teams with exceptional performance in geo-texting contexts. I can also envision the epidemiological advantages that chat technology like this could provide as you attempt to spread knowledge to improve global health.
Point-and-Chat™ is an advanced form of chat technology that uses line-of-sight GPS orientation to map other PoKos smart phone users along a visual path, making it possible to instantly connect with people that you may not know and be aware of. This technology is patented and the company has extensive knowledge in building large scale telecommunications services that are reliable, a clear advantage when entering adjacent markets such as mHealth and mCare.
PoKos’ CEO sees a bright future for new mobile messaging technologies that will provide advancements both in clinical mCare, and in public health, research, and training at the global, regional, national and local levels. According to Mr. Platt,
“Any mobile solution incorporating new social media technology should exploit current user behaviors and enable health officials and providers to communicate with mobile users everywhere, independent of their device or carrier.”
Provided under a general category of Mobile Health Messenger™, PoKos is touting this as a powerful new social media platform for health officials and health providers featuring three distinct products:
- A user chat client for “consumers”, i.e., individuals; a messaging vehicle for health officials and providers; and a broadcasting and information-gathering tool for public health officials. The consumer client provides free text/instant messaging with all the user’s current contacts, across platforms and devices. It also allows users to meet people they see or are close to but don’t know, using Zoom™ + Pointand-Chat™, making community-wide discussions of health care readily available and simple, and raising the general level of health awareness and focus.
- A different feature, Health Chat™, allows health officials and
providers to share and discuss the latest data, trends, and forecasts.
- The third feature, Broadcast Chat™, enables health officials to send customized messaging to government officials, medical providers and consumers, and engage them in continuous conversations, providing health care alerts and training, and
gathering real-time data regarding disease/disaster/accident prevention, response and remediation.