Increasing acceptance of mobile technologies in the healthcare sector is likely to boost mobile healthcare (mHealth) market in the coming years, a latest report from RNR Market Research showed.
Driven by the thriving ecosystem, the research firm estimates that the mHealth market will account for over $23 billion in 2017 alone.
The firm also foresees that total mHealth market would represent $370 billion in annual healthcare cost savings worldwide by 2017.
For the next three years, the market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 35 percent.
However, players need to address regulatory barriers, patient acceptance and privacy concerns to achieve this growth.
Today, the use of mHealth devices and apps is widespread in clinical trials. Pharmaceutical companies are now setting their sights on connected drug delivery platforms that will automatically detect and log patients’ medication use to improve adherence.
Recent global e-Health alliance expansion by Teva Pharmaceuticals and IBM is an example. Using Teva’s therapeutic technologies and Watson’s cognitive computing, the companies aim to enable patients, healthcare providers, and payers to better understand and control chronic conditions, and track treatments.
The collaboration will combine cloud-connected drug delivery and app technology with more than six billion data points processed by Watson to provide actionable insights.
As the world go more digital in the years to come, demand for this kind of technologies will rise.
ALSO READ: Wearable sensors market forecast to swell
mHealth centric wearable devices
The RNR research report further estimates that mHealth centric wearable devices will account for over 60 million unit shipments by the end of 2017.
According to a report released by Gartner, 274.6 million wearable electronic devices will be sold worldwide in 2016, an increase of 18.4 percent from 232.0 million units in 2015.
Sales of wearable electronic devices will generate revenue of $28.7 billion in 2016. Of that, $11.5 billion will be from smartwatches.
Apple had significant contribution in popularising wearables as a lifestyle device. It had 7.5 percent market share in the first quarter of 2016, according to research firm IDC. Fitbit, Xiaomi are also in a close competition with Apple.
Big Data in mHealth
In order to gain valuable insights from the data generated by these devices, healthcare service providers and other stakeholders are increasingly investing in Big Data and analytics technology.
A recent research report from Transparency Market Research (TMR) is worth to note in this context. The research found that global IT Spending on Clinical Analytics will expand at a 12.3 percent CAGR over the period between 2016 and 2024.
In currency terms, the IT spending on clinical analytics is projected to reach $32.422 billion by 2024 from $11.650 billion in 2015.
Generation of highly refined data in short spans encouraged adoption of clinical analytics tools. It has helped to improve clinical outcomes and led to a significant reduction in hospital readmission rates.
mHealth has the potential to dramatically reduce the costs of healthcare operations, while improving the quality of healthcare.
A survey conducted by Research2guidance unveiled that mHealth apps have reduced hospital readmission expenses in UK and duration of stay.
RNR Market Research also estimates that telemedicine, telehealth, and M-health markets are set to reach $45.4 billion by 2021.
M-Health markets related to telemedicine will grow the fastest, leveraging 9.5 billion smart phones and 5 billion connected tablet devices installed all over the world by 2021.