Making money with mobile healthcare applications takes much more effort than most developers expected. mHealth apps normally do not get into the app stores’ top ranking lists and thus do not receive high download numbers.
But there are working business models for the mHealth applications. Within the mobile health app category revenue won’t be generated through app stores. More and more mHealth app publishers have understood that they have to adapt their business model accordingly. Turning away from the “normal” pay-per-download models to practices like charging for medical service (call a doc) or sensor based models.
Sensor based business models seem to have particularly caught the attention of mHealth app publishers over the last 6 months. The idea behind this model is not to sell an app but to use the app to promote the sales of a sensor. Revenue will be generated outside the app store.
Here are some examples to highlight this trend.
– Health and Wellness Monitoring tools combine fitness-related equipment to track pulse, calories, running speed, heart rate, or use sensor-devices to monitor weight control, fetus observation and eye testing. Target groups for these products are fitness and health-conscious users aged mainly between 35 and 45 years.
– Chronic Condition Monitoring tools monitor health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, asthma and obesity. They generate revenue from selling a sensor-device with a free application. Target groups are healthcare providers, medical personnel and chronically ill people between 30 and 50 years.
– Diagnosis Tools are mainly targeted at professionals, who increasingly demand more portable and easy-to-use devices for easier communication with patients and peers.
– Educational and Motivational Tools monitor habit patterns (e.g. sleep monitoring via app/device) or serve as useful didactic instruments for science education (e.g. portable microscopes).
Traditional health care service providers and especially medical device manufacturers should be aware of these trends and start to connect to the smartphone world.
To find a detailed overview of mHealth business models please see our Mobile Health Market Report 2010-2015.
Or take a look at more mobile healthcare research from research2guidance.