News Scan: Hospitals mull smartphones for nurses; Can you hear me now?; more

>> Hospitals plan to evaluate enterprise-class nursing smartphone products

Slightly more than half of hospitals plan to evaluate enterprise-class nursing smartphone products to support collaborative care over the next 12 to 18 months, according to a survey of more than 100 care providers working in hospitals conducted by Spyglass Consulting Group. Despite hospital policy restrictions, two-thirds of respondents said that staff nurses use personal smartphones at work. A full 88 percent of respondents said they were concerned that unprotected mobile devices on hospital networks could introduce malware as well as violate Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements. Read more.

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>> Can you hear me now? Smartphone audio quality lags

The audio quality of smartphones has not kept up with data processing capabilities and other advancements in mobile device technology, judges ABI Research. But the next-generation of feature phones, smartphones and tablets will provide high-definition voice quality and smart audio accessories, predicts ABI. "How is it that the mobile device market has managed to become so large and important, yet fail to impress when it comes to the quality of the audio experience. As users customize and personalize their mobile device, they increasingly want a better audio experience," says Jeff Orr, senior practice director at ABI. Read more.

[More on smartphones: Carriers target enterprises with VoLTE | Next up: Smartphones that know how you feel]

>> Softphones, tablets and UC clients prove most attractive for enterprises

Business-grade softphones, tablets and unified communications clients will witness the most significant increase in enterprise demand over the next three years, according to Elka Popova, unified communications and collaboration program director at Frost & Sullivan. IT investments are being driven by the need to support remote workers, mobility and the BYOD trend, says Popova. "In fact, the cost impact of satisfying these additional needs is hitting IT decision-makers in the U.S., larger organizations and companies in the financial and healthcare sectors the hardest," Popova adds. Read more.

[More on UC: UC users want mobile device integration | Time to unleash the potential of BYOD and UC]

>> MEAP providers move towards open standards

Leading mobile enterprise app platform (MEAP) providers are moving towards open standards, such as JSON and REST services, says Charlotte Dunlap, senior analyst for application platforms at Current Analysis. This move to open standards supports "developers' desire to use open source tools for app development/deployment involving infrastructure, tool sets, plug-ins and development languages," Dunlap writes in a blog. Unlike large middleware providers such as IBM and SAP, "pure-play providers need to differentiate not only on product quality, but also by integrating as many disparate systems as possible in embracing open standards," she adds. Read more.

[More on MEAP: MEAP vendors look to new partnerships, deployment options, says Current Analysis | Middleware firms drag feet on mobile platform strategies, says report]

>> Intel buys wearable healthcare device supplier Basis Science

As part of its ongoing effort to expand in the mobile device market, Intel has purchased Basis Science, a maker of wearable devices for health and wellness applications, for an undisclosed consideration. "The acquisition of Basis Science provides immediate entry into the market with a leader in health tracking for wearable devices. As we accelerate our position in wearables, we will build upon this foundation to deliver products that bring people greater utility and value," says Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of Intel's New Devices Group. Read more.

[More on Intel: Intel wants in on mobile device chip | Intel ramps up mobile chip plans following disappointing quarter]