Monday, June 18, 2012

Frost & Sullivan sees further growth in mHealth industry

With the expansion of wireless technology, more and more people are using it to manage their health.  Each year, tens of thousands of people purchase health-related mobile applications, and that number is only expected to continue growing, according to recent research by Frost & Sullivan on the mHealth industry.

"Today, we are seeing the tip of the iceberg in the U.S. mHealth market's potential," said Zachary Bujnoch, senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "MHealth will continue on a steep growth curve as increasingly sophisticated mobile technologies and relationship-management tools disrupt the market."

Source: Frost & Sullivan
Wireless technology is an especially good fit for health-related issues, according to the research. First of all, wireless networks are increasingly ubiquitous as are wireless devices. Mobile applications are suited to everything from tracking fitness to reminding a patient about daily medication to managing chronic diseases.  There are also mobile programs that help people stop smoking, send out regional allergy alerts, and measure heart rate.

On a managed-care level, wireless programs can also perform diagnostic monitoring tasks. Wireless devices are also an important part of the growing telehealth industry, allowing patients to remain at home while being monitored under professional medical supervision.

But while managed-care mHealth applications are growing, it is the consumer-type applications, including the smoking-cessation and allergy alert programs, that have the largest potential to expand.

"Consumer mHealth applications are going to outpace managed-care applications in terms of quantity of installations," said Ofer Atzmon, Vice President for Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel Medical Systems. "However, the revenue from managed care applications will be much bigger due to their higher costs."

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