mHealth – Health IT Going Mobile

Is mHealth  on the verge of explosive growth? Consider that remote monitoring tools already exist for diabetes, asthma, cardiac arrhythmia, sleep apnea and other conditions.

Doctor using mHealth deviceAccording to Berg Insight, 200 million in the US and EU suffer from these conditions. iPhone apps are available to monitor blood pressure and glucose levels. Berg Insight estimates that the global mHealth market reached $10 Billion in 2010.

So what’s next? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is working to promote collaboration between the scientific community and the mobile industry to improve public health. The UN Foundation launched the  mHealth Alliance to “mobilize innovation for global health”. These organizations come together annually at the mHealth Summit.

With over 5 billion worldwide mobile subscribers, mHealth has ramifications for developed and developing countries. PWC estimates that 40% of consumers are willing to pay for wireless health solutions. Deloitte forecasts that the Mobile Personal Health Record (mPHR) may become the killer app that drives adoption of mHealth in the US. With mobile adoption much higher in developing countries than in the US and the ability for mHealth solutions to lower healthcare costs, the needs of developing countries are also driving innovations. One example is the industry focus on improving maternal health on a global scale. 

While mHealth participants grapple with standards, policies and security concerns, mHealth offerings continue to grow. The promises of remote monitoring with real-time alerts for a growing number of conditions, quick access to mPHRs, new solutions and cost reduction are driving increased adoption. And this could be just the tip of the iceberg.