With heart-based monitoring already accounting for the bulk of early mHealth monitoring rollouts, a new report claims that this particular sector of the burgeoning mobile health market could rise to almost US$1.9 billion globally by 2014.
Author of the study, Anthony Cox, of Juniper Research, said that mobile healthcare monitoring would demonstrate substantial growth in the US and other developed markets. However, while mobile monitoring would contribute to healthcare cost savings in developed markets, national wealth and the structure of the Healthcare market in a given geographical region would have an important bearing on the extent to which it is rolled out.
"In Africa, the opportunities for mHealth monitoring will be limited but SMS based education programs will be rolled out there and these can be of great benefit," said Cox.
Further findings from the mobile healthcare report included:
- The market for health and fitness mobile applications will thrive and eventually spawn a new market for advanced apps which integrate sensors worn on the body.
- Establishing the correct route to market for those selling mHealth services would be key to their success.
- In the past eighteen months there has been a renewed interest in mHealth from operators globally.
Separately, there are reports that mHealth is becoming a growing market for app developers. As of February 2010, there were nearly 6,000 such apps within the Apple App Store. Of these, 73 per cent were intended for use by consumers or patient end-users, while 27 per cent were targeted to health care professionals.
Apps geared to doctors included alerts, medical reference tools, diagnostic tools, continuing medical education and patient records programs. Consumer-oriented apps included those for medication compliance, mobile and home monitoring, home care, managing conditions and wellness/fitness.
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