Monday, December 20, 2010

Report: mHealth apps market to triple to 600 million by 2012

The number of mobile health (mHealth) applications in use is expected to increase threefold by 2012 to 600 million from 200 million today, according to a new report published by Pyramid Research.

Pyramid experts conclude that the mHealth industry is well positioned to offer real solutions to the growing needs of the global healthcare sector. The report indicates that healthcare is facing an immediate crisis as there is a global deficit of 2.4 million healthcare workers and an international shortage of hospital beds worldwide. This leads to a situation in which governments, healthcare providers and insurance carriers are desperate to develop solutions that lower costs and improve patient care.

The report, titled "Key Players in Mobile Healthcare", indicates that some 70% of the world population is interested in having access to at least one mHealth application, and are also willing to pay for such services.

The author notes that the main obstacle to wider adoption of mHealth applications stems from costs associated with using such services. These expenditures include the costs of developing new services and educating healthcare providers, patients and payers. Another key question is how to justify such costs for reimbursement purposes?

"Healthcare solutions that are delivered via mobile technology are creating a new frontier of innovation that is driving down costs, increasing access, and improving quality of care," indicated Denise Culver, who wrote the report. "And even as mHealth connects, informs, and protects patients and caregivers in powerful ways, it also opens up many opportunities for mobile network operators like AT&T, BT, Orange, and Telefonica; original equipment manufacturers including Apple, RIM, and Ericsson; hardware and software vendors, such as Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, and Google; and a new breed of device and application providers that specialize solely on mHealth, including CardioNet, Epocrates, and NowPos."

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