Report assesses the market opportunities and challenges for mobile healthcare
15 March 2013

Report assesses the market opportunities and challenges for mobile healthcare

Technology still presents challenges for mHealth adopters.

Report assesses the market opportunities and challenges for mHealth from the perspective of patients, payers, and providers.

Key Findings

  • Expectations are high for mHealth from patients, providers and payers
  • Significant differences in adoption among emerging and developed nations
  • Consumers are ready to adopt mobile health faster than the health industry is ready to adapt
  • Solutions, not technology, are the key to success

Finding #1

mHealth could enable a disruptive move from doctor-directed care towards a more personalised, consumer- oriented model

  • Patients believe that mHealth offers them convenient access to providers as well as the possibility to reduce their own healthcare costs
    • 46% of surveyed patients expect more convenient access to healthcare providers through mHealth

Finding #2

Patients with health issues are most likely to use mHealth products and services

  • Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes are better informed about mHealth, more likely to be using mHealth services and more likely to pay for them
    • 82% of patients with poorly managed conditions engage in some sort of mHealth (vs. 64% survey average)

Finding #3

Patients are highly price sensitive, mainly because they think healthcare payers should bear the costs

  • Patients in emerging markets are willing to pay more than those in developed ones – likely reflecting the higher proportion of all healthcare costs they have to pay themselves
    • 20% of patients in emerging countries would pay more than $5 annually for an mHealth service, vs. 10% in developed countries

Finding #4

Payers and – to a lower extent physicians – see the potential for improving quality of care and reduced costs...

  • Payers seem more optimistic about the potential for mHealth in promoting better health through greater patient involvement in care and reduced healthcare costs
    • 40% of payers encourage patients to monitor their condition through mHealth (vs. 25% of physicians)

Finding #5

Physicians are concerned that mHealth will make patients too independent

  • Patients are aware of this reluctance among physicians. 60% of active users of mHealth say that patients and technology companies are more interested in mHealth than physicians
    • 44% of physicians are worried that mHealth will make patients too independent

Finding #6

Emerging markets will lead the way in mHealth

  • mHealth is less disruptive to healthcare in emerging markets because for a majority, it is not a substitution to care but rather the only access
    • 61% of surveyed patients in emerging markets are aware of term “mobile health” (vs. 37% in developed markets)
  • More mHealth services are covered by payers in emerging markets than in developed countries
    • 43% of payers in emerging markets pay or plan to pay for telephone consultations (vs. 29% in developed markets)

Finding #7

Focus on solutions, not technology

  • To create real value and identify business models, companies must focus on solutions that address the needs of stakeholders (payer, provider, patients) directly
    • 64% of physicians and payers say mHealth has exciting possibilities but too few proven business models
  • Immense high dropout rates illustrates the need for engaging, integrated, interoperable, and intelligent apps
    • 48% of surveyed patients who have used an mHealth app discontinued it after the first six months

Finding #8

Technology still presents challenges for mHealth adopters

  • Lack of interoperability, standards and integration into existing IT-systems impedes uptake of the fragmented mHealth market
    • 47% of surveyed physicians say that mHealth applications they use will not work with their organisation’s IT

Finding #9

Regulators could encourage advances in mHealth, but the survey shows otherwise

  • Surveyed physicians and payers see little encouragement for mHealth by regulators, due to regulatory and legal barriers
    • 45% of physicians and payers think mHealth advances are held up by regulation

Executive Summary Report

Full Report


Mobile | Health