8 drivers and barriers which will shape the mHealth app market in the next 5 years

The two main drivers of the mHealth app market are smartphone penetration and user demand. In contrast, lack of data security and standards cause major concerns among the market players. FDA and EU regulation is perceived as neither a driver nor a barrier.

The ubiquity of devices capable of running mHealth apps (58%) is the biggest driver for the growth of the mHealth market. According to the global mHealth app publisher community, user and patient demand (43%) come in second.

These are some of the results of the  4th global mHealth App Developer Economics 2014 study. The study was conducted in the first half of 2014 and surveyed more than 2,000 mHealth industry insiders.

mHealth barriers - The 8 drivers and barriers that will shape the mHealth app market in the next 5 years

The rise of mHealth apps is closely associated with the upcoming of patient-centered care models (39%). mHealth apps are supposed to empower patients to take a more active role in their treatment process.

Nevertheless, the mHealth app market faces still many obstacles. Today, the major barriers to the market’s growth are

  • lack of data security
  • lack of standards
  • difficult discoverability
  • resistance for traditional healthcare providers

Interestingly, other factors, which are often cited in the media as fundamental brakes on the progress of the mHealth app market, are not seen to be so detrimental. Lack of quality clinical studies or a clear regulatory framework, specific clinical requirements (e.g. sterilization of devices) and app development costs are perceived as “hygiene factors”.

mHealth app publishers appear to be rather indifferent to the current regulatory frameworks.  This is in contrast to the ongoing public discussion especially in the USA about the question if and how to lower the burdens of FDA regulations. Similary, costs of app development do not appear to be a barrier to mHealth app publishing either.

These insights are based on the 4th mHealth App Developer Economics 2014 report. You can  download a free copy of the 50 pages report here  and to read more about the market drivers and barriers, see a more  in-depth article here.

In addition, this autumn research2guidance is launching a series of thought leadership webinars that cover  the most current topics of  the mHealth app market.  Interested? Read more:  mHealth Webinars by research2guidance.


The mHealth Economics 2017 Report is out.
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