Survey Highlights Small Beginnings, Great Potential for mHealth App Market

Survey Highlights Small Beginnings, Great Potential for mHealth App Market

Full coverage of the mHealth market is available from Kalorama Information’s recently published mHealth Markets Worldwide.

mHealth’s potential will spring from the reality that more of the global population today has better accessibility to wireless devices and mobile services than convenient, localized primary care. Doctors are now able to interact with and provide therapies and preliminary diagnoses to patients using wireless devices and communication. Using mobile device apps, patients themselves can also better manage self-administered therapy and continuously monitor their health. However, mHealth’s capabilities have not immediately translated to implementation and the market - despite its significant size and ascent  - remains relatively nascent in terms of applications. A recent Healthline survey corroborated Kalorama Information’s own findings regarding the development of the app-based mHealth market; namely, awareness of medical apps that far outstrips usage among patients.

The greenness of the mHealth app market was reflected by one finding of the Healthline survey: only 4% of patients reported that their physician had recommended a mobile app and only an additional 2% reported their physician had prescribed an app. Also, according to the survey, the apps recommended most to patients were food logs and calorie counters at 34%; fitness apps such as pedometers at 24%; heart rate monitors at 22%; blood sugar monitors at 20%; and medication reminders at 17%. Regular use of the apps is significantly less - Kalorama Information reported that only roughly 3% of patients with cardiovascular conditions and 4% of diabetes patients use a mobile app to monitor their vital signs and blood sugar. The lack of penetration by these apps leaves plenty of room for growth with patient usage expected to more than quadruple by 2020. Other mHealth areas expected by Kalorama Information to see significant market growth in the next five years include fetal monitoring and behavioral or mental health apps. Fueling such rapid growth is existing, yet relatively new consumer familiarity with health-oriented apps; over half of the respondents to Healthline’s survey had used at least one health-oriented app (but only one third of those respondents had used such apps for more than 8 months).

Kalorama Information’s mHealth Markets Worldwide also covers the markets for professional mobile devices in healthcare and mobile or wireless network services in healthcare.