No one can arguably deny the tight integration promises smartphones and mHealth apps make. While in 2011, the health app market grew significantly, it is expected to almost double in 2012.

According to a report released by research2guidance

The smartphone application market for mobile healthcare will reach US$ 1.3 billion in 2012 – up from US$ 718 million in 2011. Despite this substantial growth, the mHealth market is still in an embryonic state – especially in comparison to the US$ 6 trillion of the overall global healthcare market. Several factors (esp. smartphone penetration), will continue, however, to drive mHealth market growth over the next couple of years. These findings are part of our new Mobile Health Market Report 2011-2016 report.

 

The increase of revenue stems from downloads, in-app advertisements, mHealth services, direct transactions and sensor sales. As a number of big healthcare companies published mHealth apps in 2011 that go far beyond a simple allergy tracker or pill reminder (e.g. Sanofi Aventis’ sensor-based iBGStar Diabetis monitoring app) sensors are a growing part of the landscape.

 

In 2012 the number of mHealth application users – mobile users who downloaded a smartphone mHealth application at least once – will reach 247 million. Compared to the 124 million users who downloaded mHealth smarthphone applications in 2011, this is a near doubling.

 

The technical aspects of the healthcare landscape are changing rapidly and fundamentally. Healthcare data, the number of healthcare apps and their usage on mobile phones is growing. It is all evolving around smartphones and sensors attached to the phone.

Slide1 thumb Market For Mobile Healthcare Applications Will Grow To US$ 1.3 billion in 2012

This exponential growth of the mHealth apps is a direct result of the technological capabilities modern smartphones possess, alongwith the app stores promoting them.

 

2016 is the year when the health and fitness apps will cross the $400 million mark, as per ABI research. ABI has further predicted that there will be 1 billion health related apps downloads by 2016. Interestingly, the wearable fitness devices are the ones which would be pushing the segment’s growth.

The Press Release from ABI Research is as follows

PRESS RELEASE — The sports and health mobile application market will grow to over $400 million in 2016 – up from just $120 million in 2010. Much of that growth will be spurred by the ability of mobile handsets to easily connect to wearable devices that in turn can deliver new functionality, accuracy, and appeal to sports and fitness applications.

As the mobile handset adds new ways to access and support healthcare applications, it will become increasingly important within the healthcare market, including home monitoring systems for aging users, personal emergency response services, and remote healthcare monitoring applications. However, sports and fitness will dominate the mobile health application market.

“Downloadable apps are moving the sports tracking device market from proprietary devices to mobile phones, but adoption has been limited by the data they can collect. However, with the connectivity that Bluetooth Smart will embed in mobile handsets, wearable devices will bring greater detail to mobile handsets,” says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst.

Handset connectivity to wearable devices brings a new dynamic to the sports monitoring market. Athletic equipment players have already moved to support handset applications by either using proprietary or battery-draining traditional Bluetooth wireless. Meanwhile, traditional players such as Garmin, who recently launched its first handset application for this market, and Polar have delivered high-end specialist systems. Over the next five years, these players will increasingly have to compete directly with the mobile handset. They will also face a slew of start-ups and new entrants offering applications, online communities, and wearable devices offering a range of applications and services.

“As applications increasingly become part of a bundle that ships with wearable devices, revenues from mobile applications will lag behind the growth in app downloads. Mobile application downloads will actually grow at nearly twice the rate of revenues between 2010 and 2016, with more than a billion downloads annually by 2016,” says Collins.

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