The health industry is increasingly responding to the rising popularity and availability of technological innovations, such as tablets and smartphones. The use of connected devices to collect patient data, monitor ongoing conditions, access health information, and communicate with providers, patients, and peers is a trend that is spreading like wildfire. Health applications have the potential to be adapted and used by healthcare professionals and consumers, helping to revolutionize the sector and reflect the digital age we live in.
Mobile Health (mHealth) can provide cost-effective solutions within the global healthcare environment, which faces budget constraints, an increasing prevalence of chronic conditions, and a limited healthcare workforce. mHealth is the use of mobile and wireless technologies to support healthcare systems and achieve healthcare objectives. After several successful global trials, several mHealth services have entered the commercialization phase and many mobile applications have been launched, stimulating partnerships with software developers, mobile operators, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and leading healthcare players.
Over the next decade innovations within the mHealth market will be driven by evolution of smartphone technologies, improvements in wireless coverage, and remote treatment and monitoring of prevalent chronic diseases. According to a BCC Research report, the global mHealth market reached nearly $1.5 billion in 2012 and $2.4 billion in 2013. It is expected to reach $21.5 billion in 2018 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54.9% over the five-year period from 2013 to 2018.
For healthcare professionals, mobile or tablet apps also have enormous potential for training and professional development. Connectivity is built in, facilitating a blended learning platform with easily updatable information, in an accessible format. This allows for a truly flexible and enjoyable teaching and learning experience, ideal for both professionals and students, with information available anytime, anywhere.
Not only do health training and development apps provide more dynamic training tools, but they can also bring huge cost savings. Apps are inexpensive to produce and update, especially when compared to other training tools. Tablets and smartphones are readily available and the technology is relatively low cost when compared to other health technologies and professional training tools.
Apple’s new software, HealthKit, is designed to collect data from various health and fitness apps, making that data easily available to Apple users through the company’s new Health app. HealthKit is being developed to into hospital and doctors' charts, too.
Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President at Apple, at a conference held earlier this year, said, “Developers have created a vast array of healthcare devices and accompanying applications, everything from monitoring your activity level, to your heart rate, to your weight, and chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. ... [But] you can’t get a single comprehensive picture of your health situation. But now you can, with HealthKit.”
Mobile phone carriers such as Verizon and Sprint are also using their vast and trusted networks to bring mobile patient engagement and data to the forefront. “[Verizon’s] Converged Health Management is a perfect example of how we are using our unique combination of assets like our 4G LTE wireless network and cloud infrastructure to deliver an innovative, cost-effective and game-changing solution to the marketplace,” said John Stratton, President of Verizon Enterprise Solutions.
For relevant BCC Research reports on telemedicine technologies, visit the following links:http://www.bccresearch.com/market-research/healthcare/telemedicine-technologies-report-hlc014g.html