With 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, the mobile communications sector is rapidly growing in a wide range of vertical sectors. Mobile operators are viewing mobile health, or mHealth, as a lucrative monetisation method. A growing proportion of mobile subscribers are adopting healthcare centric wearables. SNS Research has estimated that the mHealth market will account for over $23 Billion in 2017. An increasing number of health systems are recommending mobile apps for their patients from everything including prescription refills and electronic health records to data sharing and advice; in 2017 this will certainly continue to grow.
Mobile Health in simple terms is using mobile communications and technology to enhance access to healthcare information. Whether that is to store, log or to remind us to take medication or our diets, mHealth is on the up.
The great thing about mobile technology is its ability to facilitate online communities. In 2017, we’ll see a growing community of people helping each other with issues such as chronic diseases, medication information and first-hand experience of medicines and health conditions. Individuals not only share experiences and learn from them but also receive support from people like them, coaching programs are therefore on the rise. What we’ve seen is more health systems using small groups of dieticians, pharmacists and nurses available to provide real coaching through smart phones. Their main aim will be to answer questions asked by individuals suffering from chronic diseases without having to go to see their healthcare professionals face-to-face.
Constant algorithm changes and increased consumer demand for bigger and better apps means mobile Health will inevitably be bigger and better. We are redefining what mHealth apps can do, going way beyond simply capturing data and providing recommendations. But, will we see a vast improvement in 2017? This remains to be seen. We’re living in the tech age and with mHealth, patient outreach is essential to this sector. Judging by past years mHealth will most probably continue to grow in 2017 and beyond.