I've just stumbled upon quite an interesting study on mobile healthcare app developer economics 2014 and thought it might be worthwhile to share its key takeaways with a broader audience.
Whereas mobile health (aka mHealth or m-health) isn't yet a hot topic at mobile thought leader events and conferences, it did progress along the industry hype cycle in the past 2 years, and has already entered the phase of commercialization. See for yourself:
- As of Q1 2014, the number of mHealth apps launched to iTunes and Google Play has more than doubled compared to the same period 2 years ago and reached over 100,000 apps
- In 2013, mHealth market revenue reached USD 2.4 billion, and is projected to grow to USD 26 billion by 2017, accounting for 0.5% share of the global healthcare market
- Today, 69% of mobile healthcare app publishers make money from service focused apps, i.e. those that facilitate interaction between medical staff and/or physicians with patients and/or individuals interested in healthcare / fitness (e.g. remote consultation, patient decision aid, etc).
- In mobile health, there're two most popular types of apps monetization: 1) subscriptions, and 2) pay-per-use.
- mHealth app developers target their products at 3 key audiences: 1) chronically ill patients - 31%, 2) people interested in healthcare and/or fitness - 28%, and physicians - 14%.
- In 2013, 82% of app publishers generated less than 50,000 mHealth app downloads, and 5% - more than 500,000 downloads.
- The distinguishing features of successful mHealth app developers are:
- Large apps portfolio
- Experience in the market
- Available app development tools and methodologies as well as monitoring processes
- Focus on iOS app development
- Today, fitness apps constitute category with the highest business potential (see image below):
Read more about mobile app development.
- Geography-wise, USA, UK, Japan and Germany provide the highest business potential for mHealth applications these days
Now let's wrap up what's expected of mHealth apps development in the near future:
- In the next 5 years, mobile health apps development will be driven by:
- Deeper penetration of capable devices - 58%
- Patient / physician demand - 38%
- Top 3 show-stoppers are:
- Lack of data security - 34%
- Lack of eHealthcare standards - 30%
- Poor apps discoverability - 29%
- In the near future, mHealth apps are expected to help reduce significantly non-compliance and hospital readmission costs
- In 5 years, remote monitoring (53%) and medical consultation apps (38%) are expected to make categories with the highest business potential
I recommend you to check out mHealth App Developer Economics 2014 for more interesting research findings.