Mobile health continues to build momentum. A recent report by Transparency Market Research projects that the global mobile health market could be worth $8bn by 2019.
Although apps are fast becoming part of our everyday lives mhealth has yet to achieve widespread adoption. However, there are key trends emerging in the mobile health app market.
10 trends for 2015
1. App categories – 97,000+ mobile apps are related to health and fitness; the leading mHealth categories in the sector are fitness (30%), medical references (16%) and wellness (15%).
2. Mobile app use – by 2017, according to Research and Markets, half of the 3.4 billion smartphone or tablet users worldwide will use mobile health apps.
3. Size of mobile app market – Research2guidance found that the mobile health app market will reach US$26 billion by 2017, six times greater than the 2014 value (US$4 billion).
4. Mobile health user – Points Group found the average mobile health user is aged 35, 54% are male, 87% are smartphone users (vs. tablet users), 85% use social media for health, 76% take a prescription and 30% are caregivers.
5. Growth – the greatest potential for mobile health apps over the next five years lies in remote monitoring (53%), remote consultation apps (38.2%) and diagnostic apps (31.7%). These will help healthcare organisations become more efficient and effective.
6. Healthcare professional apps – just 14% of the apps target physicians and 7% aim at hospitals, however physicians and hospitals are seen as the primary distribution channel for mHealth apps in the future. Points Group found 80% of physicians use smartphones and medical apps and 93% believe mobile apps can improve a patient’s health.
7. Barriers to growth – many are concerned that more needs to be done to reassure stakeholders that data privacy will be fully respected with the need for standardisation across all platforms and products, enabling integration into healthcare provision.
8. Business potential – diabetes and obesity are the top ranked therapeutic areas for mHealth publishers followed by hypertension, depression and cancer for 2014 – 2019; these technological advances can help address healthcare problems.
9. Virtual GP – there’s a new app from Babylon Health that allows users to book virtual GP consultations, monitor symptoms and receive prescriptions. It provides access to doctors 24/7 for a monthly fee and has ambitions to use the platform to deliver care to patients in remote locations, or simply those without access to quality healthcare within a reasonable travelling distance.
10. Life tracking – according to visual.ly there are dozens of apps for every area of your life; how fast you run, how much you eat, calorie intake, your mood, sleep patterns, even monitoring your bowel movements.
The mhealth market is primarily aimed at improving the efficiency of healthcare providers in delivering better patient care. These trends will give you an insight into how to leverage opportunities and drive your mobile strategy plans for the future. Share your thoughts below or on Twitter.