At the CTIA Enterprise & Applications conference in San Francisco earlier this month, it was clear that many wireless industry players are bullish on the mobile healthcare industry. In fact, I haven't heard this much buzz about a market segment since the early days of mobile entertainment.
Despite the enormous potential, however, mHealth does face significant obstacles, such as who will pay for these new services?
Many of the mHealth advocates I've talked with say that it is still early in the market and it may take some time before the various business models come to fruition. In fact, the GSMA has formed a group within the organization to see whether wireless operators can form a commercially sustainable business model for mHealth. The group is currently setting up a fund to invest in mHealth projects in developing nations with the goal of trying to understand the possible business model.
Nevertheless venture capitalists and many of large telecom firms are investing in mobile healthcare. According to Triple Tree, about fifteen startups received VC funding in 2009.
For a deeper look at the mHealth marketplace, FierceWireless has produced this ebook, "Delivering on the mHealth opportunity," which looks at the long-term and short-term opportunities and delves into the obstacles that must be overcome for mHealth to be the success that so many are predicting. Be sure to check out the interview with David Alyward, executive director of the mHealth Alliance. --Sue
P.S. Do you follow your favorite wireless industry observers on Twitter? If so, you may want to check out this list of top 10 wireless Twitterati compiled by my colleague Phil Goldstein. Phil is the voice behind FierceWireless' Twitter feed and a keen observer of the latest happenings in the space.