The combination of the smartphone and the app stores has created a vibrant market for mHealth apps which are forecast to reach 142 million downloads globally by 2016.
Apps already cover a wide range of mHealth use cases, varying from medical calculators to monitoring software. However, in time, hardware peripherals attached to the smartphone will greatly extend the capabilities of these apps, finds Juniper Research.
Hardware Peripherals designed to work directly with mHealth apps will allow the smartphone to become an important portable accessory to the healthcare establishment for both diagnosis and relaying medical data to healthcare staff, states the report.
Juniper Research notes that the consumer focus of many mHealth apps will result in mHealth becoming increasingly mainstream. According to report author Anthony Cox, “Acceptance of new healthcare practices like remote patient monitoring will come directly from consumers becoming engaged in mHealth through the smartphone.”
Other findings from the report include:
· Clarification from the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), on which mHealth apps will require FDA approval, is still required but is expected to add further impetus to the market.
· Significant cost-savings can be achieved through remote patient monitoring in developed markets through the avoidance of hospital stays and outpatient appointments.
· The US has a notable lead over other developed economies for remote patient monitoring due to the structure of the healthcare industry and insurance funding.
The report nevertheless acknowledges the need for more trials to prove both the medical benefits and the potential cost savings of advanced mHealth services.
The report includes a comprehensive analysis of the current state of play of the mHealth market and contains five year forecasts covering areas including mHealth smartphone apps, remote patient monitoring for cardiac outpatients and chronic diseases, and enterprise healthcare smartphones.