News Scan: Facebook's mobile payments move; Wearables drive healthcare big data; more

>> Facebook expands mobile payments presence

Facebook is close to getting an e-money license in Ireland that would allow its users to hold and exchange money on the social networking site, relates Eden Zoller, mobile payment expert at Ovum research. "Ovum predicted Facebook would launch a renewed push into mobile payments this year and its focus on mobile money transfers makes sense. These applications are gaining good traction with consumers, particularly in emerging markets where Facebook has ambitions to be the prime platform from which people access, and interact with Internet services," explains Zoller. Read more.

[More on Facebook: Facebook's dodgy privacy record prompts FTC warning over WhatsApp buy | Facebook mobile referrals on the rise]

>> W. European healthcare providers to pony up $2.4B for clinical mobility this year

Western European healthcare providers are forecast to invest $2.4 billion in clinical mobility this year, based on a survey of 179 healthcare IT and non-IT execs in Western Europe by IDC. "Healthcare providers that want to leverage mobile to enable a patient-centric and collaborative work environment should plan and implement a comprehensive clinical mobility strategy that addresses key areas such as connectivity, performance, manageability, usability and security. The reach and breadth of these capabilities is way beyond consideration about the device," says Silvia Piai, EMEA research manager for IDC Health Insights. Read more.

[More on clinical mobility: US 'meaningful use' incentives to fuel clinical mobility spending, says IDC | Green Clinic turns to Dell to enable doctors to use iPads at work]

>> Wearables to drive big data adoption by healthcare industry

The increasing use of wearable devices for sports, fitness and wellness is expected to drive the adoption of big data technology by healthcare organizations, observes ABI Research. The research firm estimates that close to 42 million wearable devices for sports, fitness and wellness will be shipped this year. "Millions of people are tracking their levels of activity daily and healthcare providers are increasingly examining ways to leverage this data to improve levels of care and efficiency," says ABI principal analyst Jonathan Collins. Read more.

[More on wearables: Wearable tech to grow 'exponentially' this year, predicts Visiongain | 'Robust selection' of apps will be key to enterprise adoption of smart wearables, says IDC]

>> US wireless carriers boost worldwide Q4 earnings

Strong performance by U.S. wireless carriers fueled a global 2 percent increase in fourth quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), according to the latest stats from Strategy Analytics. The top four U.S. wireless carriers--Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile--saw fourth quarter EBITDA grow 22 percent. By contrast, wireless carriers experienced a 2 percent EBITDA decline for the quarter. Read more.

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>> Mobile education market to grow at a 20.6% CAGR through 2018

The mobile education market is forecast by TechNavio to increase at a 20.6 percent compound annual growth rate through 2018. Mobile education, or m-education, covers any educational content delivered via a smartphone or tablet. Key vendors in the space are Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Blackboard. "With the rising demand for online courses and advancements in technology, distance education is likely to continue contributing to the revenue of the global m-education market," says Faisal Ghaus, vice president of TechNavio. Read more.

[More on mobile education: Today's schoolchildren will flood BYOD ranks, study reveals | Recent studies confirm value of mobile technology, tablets in classroom]