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Going Mobile

Going Mobile: How Wireless Technology is Reshaping Our Lives

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 120
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  • Book Info
    Going Mobile
    Book Description:

    The world is going mobile at an astounding pace. Estimates show 80 percent of global Internet access will take place through mobile devices by 2016. Smartphones, tablets, and handheld devices have reshaped communications, the global economy, and the very way in which we live. The revolution is an electronic nirvana: for the first time in human history we have sophisticated digital applications to help us learn, access financial and health care records, connect with others, and build businesses. But the one trillion dollar mobile industry is still relatively young. Leaders in both the public and private sectors need to figure out how to apply mobile technologies or mobile devices to optimize education, health care, public safety, disaster preparedness, and economic development. And the ever-expanding mobile frontier presents new challenges to law, policy, and regulations and introduces new tensions; one person's idea of cautious deliberation can be another's idea of a barrier to innovation.

    InGoing Mobile, Darrell M. West breaks down the mobile revolution and shows how to maximize its overall benefits in both developed and emerging markets.


    1. The Emergence of Mobile Technology

    2. Driving Global Entrepreneurship

    3. Alleviating Poverty

    4. Invention and the Mobile Economy

    5. Mobile Learning

    6. Improving Health Care

    7. Medical Devices and Sensors

    8. Shaping Campaigns and Public Outreach

    9. Disaster Relief and Public Safety

    10. Looking Ahead

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2626-5
    Subjects: Technology, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. 1-15)

    MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IS RESHAPING society, communications, and the global economy. With cell phones, smartphones, and tablets now outnumbering desktop computers, there has been a sea change in the way people access, use, and share information. Powerful mobile devices and sophisticated digital applications enable users to build businesses, access financial and health care records, communicate with public officials, and complete online transactions. More globally, such devices and applications have helped reduce social inequality, increased participation in civic life, and increased education levels, all of which spur national economic development.¹

    This revolution in how consumers and businesses access information, and the far-reaching...

    (pp. 16-27)

    ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS CRUCIAL FOR economic development around the world. In countries such as Nigeria, Egypt, and Indonesia, micro-entrepreneurs generate 38 percent of the GDP.¹ Analyses of time-series data demonstrate that small businesses create a disproportionate share of new jobs.² They generate new ideas, new business models, and new ways of selling goods and services.

    The role of entrepreneurship in economic development is significantly facilitated by the convenience of wireless technology. Cellular devices help people access market information, sell products across geographic areas, reach new consumers, and use mobile payment systems. Beyond these marketplace functions, they have important socioeconomic leverage through...

    (pp. 28-40)

    POVERTY IS ONE OF the most pressing problems around the world. According to statistics from the World Bank, nearly one quarter of the global population lives at or below the poverty line of $1.25 per day.¹ With so many people struggling for basic subsistence, it is hard for those affected to lift themselves out of poverty, gain access to capital, or develop small firms or businesses that help them build a better life.

    The growth of mobile technology offers options for the poor by providing new opportunities for individuals and small businesses to advance economically. Handheld devices can be used...

    (pp. 41-55)

    IN 1967, INVENTOR Martin Cooper was working on a portable communications device for Motorola. The Chicago Police Department needed handheld radios, and he was using his background in electrical engineering to develop a device. As he explained in a phone interview with me, “All good inventions try to solve a social need.” In the course of experimenting with mobile products, he came up with the idea of a phone that would operate over a cellular network. By 1973, he had created such as device and placed a phone call with it.¹

    This example shows the importance of invention to mobile...

    (pp. 56-73)

    EDUCATION IS AT A critical juncture in the United States. It is vital for workforce development and economic prosperity, yet is in need of serious reform. American education was designed for agrarian and industrial eras and does not provide all the skills needed for a twenty-first-century economy.¹ This disjuncture creates major problems for young people about to enter the labor force.

    Mobile learning represents a way to address a number of the educational problems the United States faces. Devices such as smartphones and tablets spur innovation and help students, teachers, and parents gain access to digital content and carry out...

    (pp. 74-88)

    THE EXPANSION OF MOBILE technology offers considerable potential to improve health care. The utilization of smartphones and tablets opens up communications, information access, and service delivery. Their emergence empowers patients, health care providers, and entrepreneurs and offers new options to make transactions and access expertise. In a number of different ways, this technology is poised to alter how health care is delivered, the quality of the patient experience, and the cost of health care.¹

    In this chapter, I focus on innovations in the use of mobile devices in the practice of medicine and public health, or m-health, around the world....

    (pp. 89-100)

    HEALTH CARE ACCESS, AFFORDABILITY, and quality are problems the world over. There are well-established disparities based on income and geography, and the high costs of health care present affordability challenges for millions of people. Large numbers of individuals do not receive the quality care they need.

    Mobile technology offers ways to help with these challenges. Through mobile health applications, sensors, medical devices, and remote patient monitoring products, avenues for improving health care delivery exist. These technologies can help lower costs by facilitating the delivery of care and connecting people to their health care providers. Applications allow both patients and providers...

    (pp. 101-109)

    DURING THE CAMPAIGNS LEADING up to the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, candidate Barack Obama pioneered innovative uses of digital technology. With the help of the Internet, he raised hundreds of millions of dollars. He used social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to identify and communicate with supporters around the country. And through videoconferencing, he launched virtual get-togethers with voters in many different locales simultaneously.

    In so doing, he helped to promote the campaign use of mobile technology and transformed campaigning and public outreach. Candidates, voters, activists, and reporters now are using handheld devices for fundraising, field organization,...

    (pp. 110-126)

    THE GROWING USE OF mobile technology has greatly improved disaster relief and public safety efforts. Countries around the world face threats from natural disasters, climate change, civil unrest, terrorist attacks, and criminal activity. Mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones help emergency providers and the general public manage these challenges and mitigate public safety concerns.

    This chapter focuses on how mobile technology provides an early warning system, aids in emergency coordination, and improves public communications. In particular, I review how mobile devices assist with public safety, disaster planning, and crisis response. I explain how these devices are instrumental in the design and...

    (pp. 127-134)

    THE MOBILE REVOLUTION IS in full swing. Innovative, mobile technology–based solutions in education, health care, entrepreneurship, poverty alleviation, public outreach, and disaster relief, among other areas, are transforming those sectors. In both developed and developing economies, people, businesses, and governments are harnessing the power of wireless technology for useful purposes.

    Yet despite considerable progress, the mobile world remains in its infancy. Some believe that in shifting from desktop computing to mobile devices, people are simply changing platforms while holding everything else the same. Those who hew to this notion underestimate the fundamental nature of the transformation and how mobile...

  14. NOTES
    (pp. 135-160)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 161-171)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 172-172)