Smartphone applications have begun to enable the m-health industry to successfully monetise their services. The market for m-health services has now entered the commercialisation phase and will reach $26-billion globally by 2017.
These are among the findings of the new Global Mobile Health Market Report 2013 – 2017, by research2guidance.
Ralf-Gordon Jahns, head of research at research2guidance, points out: “Our findings indicate that the long-expected mobile revolution in healthcare is set to happen. Both healthcare providers and consumers are embracing smartphones as a means to improving healthcare.”
Top m-health publishers have managed to generate more than three million free and 300 000 paid downloads in the US on the iOS platform. The reach on other platforms and in other countries differs at lot but show also the increase of business potential for m-health apps.
Not only are consumers taking advantage of smartphones to manage and improve their own health, a significant number (15%) of m-health applications are primarily designed for healthcare professionals. These include CME (continued medical education), remote monitoring and health care management applications.
Currently there are 97 000 m-health applications in major app stores, 42% of them adhering to the paid business model.  With more and more traditional healthcare providers joining the mobile applications market, the business models will broaden to include healthcare services, sensor, advertising and drug sales revenues.
“With the growing sophistication level of m-health applications, only 9% of the total market revenue in the next five years will come from application download revenue,” says Patrick Houck, analyst at research2guidance. “Meanwhile, 84% of total m-health application market revenue will come from related services and products such as sensors.”