Market conditions for mHealth vary significantly throughout the 28 EU member states sometimes by a factor of 100

Market conditions for mHealth business models vary significantly between the 28 EU member states. Countries show differences of up to 100% for key market readiness criteria. Therefore it is imperative that companies understand these differences if they are to successfully launch mHealth business in Europe.

This is one of the findings of the newly published report “EU mHealth Market Conditions Benchmarking 2015”. Scrutinizing the EU countries’ market conditions for mHealth, the report showcases a detailed profile of each of the 28 EU countries mHealth app market readiness as a benchmark for potential mHealth business. The results are based on 5 market readiness dimensions including eHealth adoption, mHealth market potential, level of digitalization, ease of starting business and mHealth regulation, measured and compared using 26 criteria. In addition more than 4,000 mHealth practitioners have rated the EU country’s market readiness for mHealth.

The report illustrates the broad range of market conditions across the 28 EU countries and concludes that mHealth businesses must consider these vast differences when developing their business plan and their got-to-market strategy.

Firstly, the Market potential of each of the 28 EU countries are distinctive. For example, health expenditure as a % of GDP ranges from 5% in Romania to 12% in the Netherlands. Furthermore population, number of healthcare professionals, and the number of hospitals across the EU differs greatly. Therefore Companies that target a particular medical field e.g. cardiology, might find only a few dozen/hundred specialists in a given country. Therefore companies must incorporate this into their go-to-market strategy.

mHealth market conditions benchmarking percentage criteria

Secondly, in regards to digitalization Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands are the countries that have the most digitalized societies. For example, smartphone penetration in these countries among the adult population is above 70% respectively; and more than 90% of their respective populations describe themselves as ‘regular internet users’. At the other end of the spectrum Greece have far less digital “natives” for mHealth companies to target. Also tablet penetration throughout the 28 EU countries ranges from 10% in Hungary to 51% in the Netherlands. Therefore companies with a tablet based mHealth solution should factor this in when considering which country would be most suitable.

EHRs and ePrescriptions, both of which being integral to many mHealth solutions, are being used, or not as is often the case, to different degrees by healthcare professional throughout the EU. The usage of ePrescription for example ranges from 0% – 100% across the EU. Given that it can take many years to implement these services, mHealth business that have designed solutions that integrate with these services should consider countries with already established EHR and ePrescription services; also that there are high levels of acceptance by HCPs.

Companies should also be aware of which EU countries are the ‘easiest’ for doing business. This is divergent across the EU. For example, the number of days needed to get all formal approvals and necessary documentation to commence business varies between 3 – 35 days.

Finally, each of the 28 EU countries have, to different degrees, established regulatory framework for eHealth technologies. These regulations help companies to understand what is and what is not allowed. For examples in German remote treatment of patients is prohibited, whereas in Spain telemedicine is encouraged.

Given the vast differences across of the 28 EU member states and their respective market conditions mHealth companies looking to do business in the EU should be acutely aware of these differences. Companies should therefore conduct an in-depth analysis of each country to establish which provides the most favorable conditions for their particular mHealth solution, and build their business plan accordingly.

For a detailed comparison of the EU mHealth market conditions including in-depth country profiles for all EU member states please have a look at the EU mHealth Market Conditions Benchmarking 2015.

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