The mHealth market has entered its commercialization phase and, according to a report by mobile research specialist group Research2Guidance, will reach $26 billion globally by 2017. The report, “Global Mobile Health Market Report 2013-2017,” states that in the United States alone top mHealth publishers have generated more than 3 million free and 300,000 paid downloads on the iOS platform. According to Research2Guidance, there are 97,000 mHealth applications in major app stores, 42% of which adhere to the paid business model. The group estimates that 9% of the total market revenue in the next five years will come from application downloads while 84% of total mHealth application market revenue will come from related services and products such as sensors.
Still, despite this optimism it is important for developers and manufactures to keep their heads level about the potentials of mHealth apps and the challenges that come with them. A February report by the open-access medical journal PLOS
ponders the need for a reality check for mHealth. System interoperability, open standards, and methods of evaluation are cited as key challenges to mHealth alongside other factors such as cost, complexity, and barriers to access.
With mHealth predicted to move into the integration phase around 2015 – becoming regulated parts of standard healthcare - it seems the test for developers will be ensuring these apps are viable, reliable,readily availble, and don't just vanish into the bowels of your app store.
Medical Device Manufacturers of the Year 2012