mHealth apps are witnessing a rapid growth due to the combination of smartphones and app stores
mHealth apps are forecast to reach 142m downloads globally by 2016, thanks to the combination of the smartphone and the app stores, says Juniper Research in its report.
According to the research firm, apps already cover a wide range of mHealth use cases, varying from medical calculators to monitoring software. However, hardware peripherals attached to the smartphone will greatly extend the scope of these apps.
Hardware peripherals designed to work directly with mHealth apps will allow the smartphone to transition into an important portable accessory to the healthcare establishment for both diagnosis and relaying medical data to healthcare staff. The consumer focus of many mHealth apps will result in mHealth becoming increasingly mainstream, it added.
Report author Anthony Cox said acceptance of new healthcare practices like remote patient monitoring will come directly from consumers becoming engaged in mHealth through the smartphone.
mHealth apps will require US FDA’s approval to give a boost to the market. The report states that significant cost-savings can be achieved through remote patient monitoring in developed markets through the avoidance of hospital stays and outpatient appointments.
However, the report acknowledges the need for more trials to prove both the medical benefits and the potential cost savings of advanced mHealth services.