Wireless & Mobile Health Taking Center Stage as Reform & Consumer Preferences Converge

JAN 16

As we enter 2011, the topic of wireless and mobile healthcare and its growing public acceptance should be top of mind for every healthcare professional or investor.

According to TripleTree’s most recent mHealth survey, over 43% of healthcare professionals are working with mHealth devices or applications on a daily or weekly basis.  Additionally, over 70% of healthcare professionals surveyed are knowledgeable of their applications and uses.

Physician use of mHealth applications may spur greater adoption amongst the general populace – the “if my doctor does it, it must be a good idea” phenomenon.   Many industry watchers agree that well north of 500,000 physicians are already using iPads (in the U.S.) and this number is growing by the hour!

For patients, increased tablet use may spur them to investigate health monitoring apps for for their phones. And the good news is that they will find over 7,000 apps across the Android and iPhone app markets.  Indeed, over 3 million downloads have been logged for these apps in 2010 on Android alone.

Even if every download of a mHealth app was to a separate user, the mHealth application market of over 33 million users is at most 10% penetrated.

Expect a surge of health and fitness applications in 2011 as developers (and retailers) realize that this market may be poised for a growth surge, barring any regulatory hurdles.

There may be potential roadblocks in adoption, however.  HIPPA overshadows everything health-related in the US, and the mHealth market is no different. Data leaks and the sensitivity of the data recorded may lead some consumers to doubt the security and privacy of mHealth apps. However, once large players such as Google, Microsoft, or Apple enter the market (or endorse applications) consumer doubt will ease.

These market trends are foundational as we approach our sixth annual Convergence Summit to advance the discussion of wireless and mobile innovations in healthcare.  Compliance, seniors and chronic illness and improving access to care are just a few of the topics we’ll assess and discuss.  To learn more click here.

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Rob McCray