The global mHealth market is poised to expand at a whopping CAGR nearly 50% over the forecast period (2012 to 2020). mHealth or mobile health involves the use of wireless devices and mobiles to offer healthcare services. Despite considerable developments in the field of healthcare services, there are a number of issues that still persist pertaining to affordability and availability. Penetration of smartphones with 4G and 3G networks owing to urbanization & high income levels is expected to fuel the industry in the years to come.
3G & 4G LTE networks facilitate the prompt delivery of telemedicine services via speedy data transfers and video calls. High incidence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart ailments can contribute significantly to the global industry in the years to come. Various healthcare mobile applications may help patients in managing and controlling these ailments. However, infrastructural security and data privacy and safety may negatively impact overall demand during the forecast period.
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The worldwide mHealth market is segmented on the basis of services, participants, and geographies. According to services, the divisions are monitoring services, diagnosis services, healthcare systems strengthening services, and others. “Others” mainly pertains to wellness and prevention and thus focuses on geriatric care, smoking de-addiction, drug abuse prevention, healthy living, and child care. In 2013, monitoring services held more than 60% shares in the global market. Such services include independent aging solutions, post acute care services, devices (body trackers) for monitoring vital signs, and chronic disease management. Diagnosis services facilitate effective communications between patients and healthcare professionals about various health related issues.
On the basis of participants, the industry is categorized into healthcare providers, content players, device vendors, and mobile operators. Being a rapidly expanding segment, mobile operators can continue dominating the global market over the forecast period. Beside connectivity services, they also offer end-to-end solutions, mobile telemedicine, content-based wellness information, and health call centers. This segment generates much of its revenues from monitoring & diagnostics services. Device vendors mainly refer to electronics & technology companies that offer equipment for gathering patient medical data and transmit data to back-end servers through mobile networks. Content players deal with information based services either through collaborations or in a stand-alone manner with mobile operators.
Geographically, the global mHealth market is segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World. With a market share (in revenue terms) exceeding 30%, North America led the global industry in 2013. Regional drivers are surging demand for monitoring services because of growing prevalence of chronic diseases & ailments worldwide. Asia Pacific can expand robustly at a more than 45% CAGR over the forecast period. The region is fueled by growing need for better healthcare services.
Prominent companies operating in the global industry are Vodafone Group, Samsung Electronics, mQure, Orange, and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions among others. Kaiser Permanente and the Mayo Clinic’s venture capital unit supports an mHealth smoking cessation program that features an online communication & support platform and a wearable that releases drugs at equal time intervals. The concerned platform is undergoing clinical trials for both European and U.S. regulators. It may be available in the market in 2018 or 2019. Commonly known as the “Smartpatch”, this device releases biologically timed drugs. This action is based on the sensors that are present in the patch for measuring vital signs.