Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 14, 2016

Savings-Seeking Healthcare Increasingly Turns to mHealth

The ongoing healthcare crisis, faced not only in the United States but also worldwide on at least some level, is forcing healthcare providers to turn in new and sometimes unexpected directions to generate savings and make the package more cost-effective for its users. A new report from RnR Market Research is showing how much savings could potentially be generated from one new technology: mobile healthcare (mHealth).

Just in 2017, the report suggests, the mHealth market will account for $23 billion on the strength of an ecosystem full of options and companies eager to bring it into play. What's more, these gains will continue for the next three years, generating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 35 percent in that time frame. Ultimately, the report projects, mHealth will generate up to $370 billion in annual savings worldwide just by the end of 2017, which means we could be looking at even bigger savings to come by the end of the projected three-year period involved.

Those are impressive numbers, but what's driving these? First, there are a gigantic number of companies involved in this market; the report cites 230 firms in the market, like 3M and 4iii Innovations. With all these competitors going into the field, it's obvious there's a market here, otherwise the market wouldn't be able to support this many firms. Granted, some are working mHealth as a sidebar like Deutsche Telekom, but that's still a firm involved in the market.

Moreover, the report cites five individual submarkets along with application use cases, including pharmaceutical applications, healthcare and fitness, remote consultation and diagnostics, wearable technology and more. With so many firms going after several different submarkets, it's a great opportunity for almost everyone to be involved. It certainly doesn't hurt matters that the overall market will be eager to see new developments and likely snap up just about any alternative that can help save money; the healthcare system is a rolling disaster right now, and anything that may help will likely be seized like a drowning victim clutches at a life preserver.

With an increasingly hostile market for health insurance, and costs spiraling out of control, the healthcare market needs to lower its costs in short order, lest a government body force the hand. It's not exactly valuable to offer insurance where premiums look like mortgage payments and won't even start paying until the account holder has paid the equivalent of a house's down payment up front, so healthcare must do its best to police itself in advance of forced change. It's not clear if mHealth will do that job, but given the savings at stake, it may be the next best idea.

Edited by Alicia Young

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