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mHealth market projected to grow by billions in years ahead

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

October must be the month for publishing market reports for mobile health (mHealth) with both Research and Markets and ReportsnReport releasing their analysis for how the mHealth will fare in the global marketplace during the next several years.

Research and Markets provides a forecast of the next five years (2013–2018) and expects the mHealth apps market to experience a compound annual growth rate of 25.5 percent — from $6.6 billion in 2013 to $20.7 billion in 2018. ReportsnReport takes a narrower view in terms of years and anticipates a 42.4 percent CAGR between 2012 and 2016.

According to the latter, the vendors dominating the space tend to be major players in healthcare and health — Allscripts, athenahealth, and GE Healthcare with the outlier being Apple. The lion’s share of the 2013 market ($2.9 billion) is found in North America, but the future may see growth in Europe and Asia dramatically change this dynamic, Research and Market has indicated.

Determining the source of this growth in the mHealth market reveals a variety of factors. On the one hand, chronic disease management plays a leading role.

“Connected cardiac monitoring devices contributed the maximum to this market, followed by diabetes management devices, and multi-parameter trackers,” Research and Markets said in a public statement. “The highest growth will be witnessed by the diabetes management devices market during the forecast period, majorly due to the increasing global burden of diabetic population.”

On the other, a shift from the consumer to the enterprise will lead to an influx of dollars being spent in this area.

“The global mobile health solution market has been witnessing a shift from consumer applications to enterprise applications,” the organization stated in a press release.  “However, the high cost of delivering healthcare services in developed countries could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.”

A factor both reports agree on is the role played by the upswing in smartphone and tablet adoption. However, this growth may be checked by variations in mobile connectivity in different areas of the globe as well as regulations imposed by federal agencies (e.g., the Food & Drug Administration) and governing bodies (e.g. the European Union).

What is abundantly clear is that mHealth will be a force to be reckoned in the years to come and that mobile connectivity will be in high demand. Considering how concerned healthcare organizations and providers already are with mobile security, their concerns are just as likely to increase.

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