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The Rise of Mobile Health Apps

We live in a world where if something can be digital, it will be. In this sense, mHealth has contributed to this transformation in recent years.

As a study reveals, 60% of the time we spend in the digital world is spent using applications. A use that has increased 111% in the last 3 years. As if it were a chapter of ‘Black Mirror’ seen years ago, nowadays we use apps for (almost) everything: Communicate, purchase, watch videos, manage our savings, find a job, exercise or, even, find a partner, and so much more. 

A true revolution that has not taken long to reach the health sector and become one of the key trends in 2020, especially during COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s here to stay.

In this blog post we will answer:

  • What is mHealth?
  • What is mobile health app market size?
  • What are the categories of mobile health apps?
  • What are the opportunities when developing and marketing your mobile app?
  • Who is the target market of mobile health app market?
  • How to monetize an health app?

Mobile Health Apps & Solutions

The mHealth (mobile health) is, according to WHO definition, “The practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices such as phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants and other wireless devices.” All of this includes lifestyle and wellness apps that connect people with medical devices or sensors, medication reminders, and health information through telemedicine messages and services.

Mobile applications will change the future of health and clinical practice forever. The dizzying growth of mHealth today reveals staggering numbers: More than 97,000 health apps are available for download today. Of these, 70% is about wellness and sport. The remaining 30% are exclusively for patients and health professionals. Apps that facilitate access to patient health data, monitoring, image diagnosis or medication control, among others.

In Latin America, for example, the use of mobile applications for patients and health professionals stands as the most promising market. Applications about the control of chronic patients will expected to be the fastest growing in the coming years.

Mobile Health App Market Size

The global mobile health apps market value was valued at USD 12.4 billion in 2018. And another report stating that the mobile health app market size was valued USD 11.47 billion in 2014, ans is expected to reach USD 102.43 billion by 2022. With a compound annual growth rate of 32.5% between 2016 and 2022. One of the most important parameter when marketing your mobile app.

A screenshot of a cell phone

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Image source: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/mhealth-app-market

Categories of Health Apps

Mobile health app market includes lots of different categories of health apps, and different categories arise in the mean time. 

Sports and fitness activity tracking

  • Diet and nutrition / Healthy living apps
  • Weight loss coaching
  • Sleep cycle analysis
  • Menstrual period tracking
  • Pregnancy tracker apps
  • Medical advice and patient community
  • Clinical and diagnostic apps
  • Stress reduction and relaxation
  • Remote monitoring apps
  • Meditation
  • Hospital selection and appointment management

Opportunities For Developing And Marketing Your Mobile App

The mobile health apps has the potential to play a key role in the present and future health. Without a doubt, it will be a key tool to solve the current problems in the sector. Problems such as the aging of the population, inequity in access to health or the prevalence of chronic diseases compromise the sustainability of our health systems. Health apps open the door to new opportunities to face these challenges:

  • Chance on prevention. The mHealth helps detect at an early stage chronic condition of patients through my diagnostic remote sharing of data from different wearables with doctors. Self-care tools promote prevention with healthy behaviors, motivating and committing patients to their health.
  • It helps the sustainability of health systems. Patient monitoring or real-time doctor-patient communication contribute to making the health system more efficient. The apps allow reducing unnecessary consultations and hospitalizations and exercising greater control over patients with chronic diseases, among others. With mHealth, costs can be reduced by 15% thanks to remote patient monitoring.
  • Telemedicine. The mHealth in developing countries represents an opportunity to reduce inequality of access to health. Thus, the apps offer the possibility of bringing health to remote areas, with difficult access or lack of specialists.

However, as we will see later, there is still a pending challenge. The challenge of ICT is to ensure the interoperability of apps with data from the Electronic Medical Record. With this, the scope and impact of this technology will begin to have an effect on health results.

Apps For Doctors vs. Apps For Patients

The mobile health apps encompass various applications, with various motivations, which have great potential in the process of digital transformation of organizations. The global benefits, mentioned in the previous point, are just a small example of what mobile applications can contribute to improving patient care, user experience and optimizing health services.

The patient is, without a doubt, the most benefited agent derived from the growth of mHealth. The use of mobile apps empowers and makes the patient a more active subject by allowing them more independent management of their health care. This drive of self-care – fostered by these apps – is especially useful when applied to patients with chronic diseases, since it facilitates adherence to treatment and its remote monitoring. By registering your data in these apps, you can control yourself and be controlled by your doctor, detecting any abnormality that may influence your condition.

At the same time, some apps facilitate patient communication with health professionals, allowing them to make inquiries about their treatment, diagnosis, medication, etc. without going to the hospital.

On the other hand, mobile health apps contribute positively to the modification of people’s habits towards healthier and more beneficial behaviors for their health. Through gamification, some apps help, through challenges and rewards, to leave behind bad habits such as eating an unhealthy diet, not exercising or smoking. 

When marketing your mobile app carefully decide on who your target market is, not only for marketing, fort he development stage you have to decide and design accourdingly. Features a patient will look for varies a lot from a doctor, or a phsical health and mental health app cannot have the same focus. 

How To Monetize An Health App?

During COVID-19 pandemic people are likely to look for some health apps. This means there is a huge opportunity to market your mobile health app, and when marketing your mobile app you can choose one of these monetization models:

  • Create subscriptions.
  • The freemium model, free download with microtransactions within the app. 
  • Sell your own products and services.
  • Activate payment for special functions.

Final Thoughts About Mobile Health Apps

Mobile health apps & solutions market is still in its early stages but a large number of stakeholders enter the market everyday and mobile health apps market value is increasing accourdingly. And in a time where the whole world is at a state of alarm, health apps will only grow in the future. 

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