The outlook towards healthcare has drastically changed in recent times. The use of mobile and wireless technology has enabled the transformation of health services delivery across the globe; the most crucial contribution being the elimination of the geographic distance or boundaries between the patients and the healthcare providers. The proliferation of mobile devices and electronic health systems is creating wonders in the healthcare industry. With the advent of mobile technology based products and services, diagnosis and treatment decisions are becoming more patient centric. These products provide key information and early warnings about an illness. mHealth is a medical practice enabled and supported by different mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets, computers, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants, and other wireless devices. Lately, mHealth has become a necessity rather than an option. mHealth applications are being widely used by doctors in their daily practice. They assist doctors to consult, diagnose, treat, and monitor their patients. Doctors can provide optimal treatment to their patients as mHealth enables them to lookup patient’s information instantly and take informed decisions.
Rapid increase in penetration of smartphones, rising utilization of mHealth mobile apps by people, high adoption of wireless technology enabled medical devices by the healthcare industry, and increased emphasis on patient-centric healthcare service delivery are some of factors contributing to the market growth. According to the data revealed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), as of 2015, two-third of the overall U.S. population and 82% of U.S. citizens in the age group 18 to 49 years owned an app enabled mobile-phone. With rising penetration of high speed internet connectivity in low and middle income countries and availability of affordable smartphones, the global mHealth market is set to witness robust growth in next five years. However, concerns related to data security and resistance by traditional healthcare providers in developing countries can hamper the growth of the global mHealth market.
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Rapid innovations will characterize the future growth of the mHealth market. With more and more companies launching innovative products, the competition in the market is and will be fierce over the coming years. Emerging markets propose lucrative growth opportunities for mHealth providers. For instance, in January 2016, the Government of India launched Kilkari, a mobile health service under the Digital India program. This platform delivers weekly audio messages to the expecting mothers giving them helpful insights about child care, pregnancy, and child birth.
The major players have been developing highly sophisticated products to outperform their competitors in the global mHealth market. In June 2014, Apple, Inc. launched Healthkit, a health data tracking platform which collects data from different fitness and health apps and makes it available to Apple users through its Health app. Likewise, in March 2016, Apple, Inc. launched Carekit, a software framework which enables users to keep a track of care plans, and monitor symptoms and medication. Carekit also enables users to share information with family members, nurses, and doctors. Moreover, in September 2016, Nike Inc. and Apple Inc. collaborated together to launch the Apple Watch Nike+, a combination of Apple Watch Series 2 and Nike sports bands along with integration with the Nike+ Run Club app. This device is exclusively designed for runners to assist them in scheduling, monitoring, and enhancing their running routines.
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Some of the key players competing in the mHealth market are Medtronic plc., Mobisante, Inc., Sanofi, AirStrip Technologies, LifeWatch Services, Inc., AliveCor, Inc., Koninklijke Philips N.V., Nike Inc., Johnson & Johnson, OMRON Corporation, Jawbone, AgaMatrix, Inc., BioTelemetry, Inc., iHealth Labs Inc., AT&T Inc., Cerner Corporation, Cisco, Inc. and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
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