mHealth: Leverage the smartphone app market if you want to make money with mHealth services the next 5 years

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For the 5th time research2guidance in collaboration with the mHealth Summit in Riga are conducting the largest mHealth research program: mHealth App Developer Economics 2015. The study will be focused on the mHealth app market, how apps generate revenue, how behaviour could be changed by apps, use of APIs and sensors and many other related topics.

Each participant will:

– have the chance to win one of five free entry tickets to the mHealth Summit in Riga

– get a free copy of the mHealth App Developer Economics 2015 report

– see preliminary results immediately after completing the survey

Take part. Click here:

mHealth App Developer Survey 2015 by research2guidance

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Or a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Before the smartphone app market brought new life to the mHealth market mHealth service providers struggled to scale their solutions. Most of them never made it out of the trial stage. Some of them were just too basic, such as simple pill reminders running on SMS as the primary delivery technology. More complex solutions that were based on eHealth initiatives integrated the features of a mobile device with a database (electronic health records), but failed mainly because of political barriers and low awareness amongst patients.

Benefits of integrated electronic healthcare solutions

Nevertheless, the benefits of those integrated solutions are evident. Here are some examples:

  • For doctors and patients: reduced double examinations, reduced risk of wrong medications
  • For the pharma companies: direct access to patient’s drug usage behavior. Apps are a unique tool to attach it to their products and to differentiate themselves from competition.
  • For insurance companies: reduce health care spending and improve patient outcome

But with the exception of a few countries those solutions either remained as isolated pilots and/or struggled with all kinds of barriers from health care stakeholders.

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Successful examples of e-Health and m-Health record systems

Sweden is one of the countries that might become a benchmark for a successful implementation of an electronic health record system which could also be accessed with a mobile device. Another exception in the next years could become the USA just because of the amount of money (2 bn USD) which has been allocated to their HITECH initiative. A central part of that initiative is the national electronic health record and the mobile access to the data. Besides those few examples most of the national health record projects stagnate. It is not clear when national health systems support the usage of those integrated mHealth solutions. Companies involved in these projects will have to have deep pockets or have other revenue sources.

Re-Thinking mobile health strategies

As it is not clear when those integrated solutions will become widely accepted around the globe, so more and more “e- and mhealth” service provides are rethinking their strategy, turning away from those complex and integrated solutions needing acceptance of all national healthcare stakeholders to more simple patient centric services. For most of them it is clear that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

This rethinking process goes hand in hand with the upcoming of the smartphone app market. In the next 5 years the smartphone app market will help the mHealth industry to reach another level. mHealth apps will be widely used and will demonstrate to a large audience the technological possibilities inherent in the smart-phone, educate patients and doctors, provide proof of envisioned cost savings for health insurance providers and will allow companies eventually to make money.

Business potential of the mobile healthcare market

The amount of money that could be made in the mHealth app market is just a fraction compared to the total potential size of the market when all integrated solutions are in place and used by doctors and hospitals. But the app market is out there now. Companies can scale up their services and learn how to adapt to the changing market, and should do so as soon as possible. In addition, it is not unlikely that the patients themselves become the main drivers of the market because they understand the benefits of, for example, a compliancy app, and are willing to provide some personal and health related data to make the service work. Just think of the data they provide on Facebook. In the end it just might as well be that the regulators and healthcare stakeholders are forced to take action because of the millions of patients using mHealth apps. It wouldn’t have been the first time…

Any comments and feedback are very welcome.

For more information on the smartphone based mHealth market and its business opportunities for healthcare provides please see our latest report on the mHealth market: Mobile Health Market Report 2010-2015.

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MHEALTH REPORT: The “Global Mobile Health Market Report 2013-2017 is a business guide for traditional healthcare companies as well as for mobile operators who want to successfully engage into the new mHealth market. Country mHealth market reports are available forUSA, Germany, Brazil, Japan and UK. See  report preview.

This post currently has 7 responses.

  1. Jeffrey Chai says:

    Interested in your smartphone applications for mHealth market here in Malaysia.

  2. Ralf Jahns says:

    Hi Jeffrey,
    we could have a chat about it if you like.

    +49 30 60 989 3366

    Regards
    Ralf

  3. Gipsy says:

    Interested in your smartphone applications for mHealth market here in Malaysia.
    +1

  4. Mark Stinson says:

    Hi – I’m seeing the same kind of re-thinking of scope, as you say “turning away from those complex and integrated solutions needing acceptance of all national healthcare stakeholders to more simple patient centric services.”

    I also recently posted on the idea of using recommendation algorithms to suggest complementary treatments or services. I’d value your insight & comments at:

    http://www.gsw-w.com/blog/2011/11/23/could-%E2%80%9Crecommendation-algorithms%E2%80%9D-have-a-greater-role-in-pharma-marketing/

    Are you seeing any apps like this?

  5. […] Click here to preview the table of contents and sample pages.Mobile healthcare market driversThe increase of revenue stems from downloads, in-app advertisements, mHealth services, direct transactions and sensor […]

  6. […] increase of revenue stems from downloads, in-app advertisements, mHealth services, direct transactions and sensor […]

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