The benefits of integrated electronic and mobile healthcare solutions are evident. At the moment there is a lot of potential for companies to scale up their services and learn how to adapt to the changing market. But they have to act quickly to seize the moment. In the last few years those solutions either remained as isolated pilots or struggled with all kinds of barriers from healthcare stakeholders, with only a few exceptions.
As it is not clear when integrated solutions will become widely accepted around the globe, more and more e-health and m-health service provides are rethinking their strategy. They are turning away from complex and integrated solutions that need acceptance of all national healthcare stakeholders to more simple patient centric services.
This rethinking process goes hand in hand with the rise of the smartphone app market. In the next 5 years the smartphone app market will help the mobile healthcare industry to reach a new level. mHealth apps will be widely used and will demonstrate the technological possibilities of smartphones. Technology, educated patients/doctors and proof of cost savings for health insurance providers will eventually allow companies to make money with mhealth apps.
Before the smartphone app market brought new life to the mobile healthcare market, mHealth service providers struggled to scale up their solutions. Most of them never made it out of the trial stage. Some of them were just too basic, such as simple pill reminders running on SMS as the primary delivery technology. More complex solutions that were based on eHealth initiatives integrated the features of a mobile device with a database (electronic health records), but failed mainly because of political barriers and low awareness amongst patients.
For more information on the smartphone based mHealth market and its business opportunities for healthcare provides please see our latest report on the mHealth market:“Mobile Health Market Report 2010-2015”.