‘A global survey entitled ‘Mobile Health Market Report 2010-2015 – The Impact of Smartphone Applications’ conducted by a Berlin-based market research company shows that ‘mHealth’ applications for smartphones will be predominantly distributed through traditional healthcare channels by 2015.
Leading mobile health application developers and healthcare companies answered a survey regarding their forecasts of market trends. Respondents predicted mHealth applications would cease to be primarily distributed by applications’ (app) stores. At the moment, app stores are still the distribution channels of choice, but traditional healthcare distribution channels like hospitals and specialised healthcare product vendors are expected to become the predominant distribution channels.
This would represent a significant shift when compared to the market today, as the smartphone app store model has been the key driver behind the initial success of mHealth applications over the last two years.
53 % of all respondents believe that currently app stores are the best distribution channels followed only by healthcare websites (49 %). Traditional health distribution channels like doctors (34 %), hospitals (31 %) and pharmacies (16 %) are ranked as second and third tier distribution channels today. Despite the fact that mobile operators are regarded as players who will help the mHealth market grow, they are not seen as appropriate distribution channels neither now nor in the future.
In five years’ time survey participants anticipate that the traditional distribution channels like hospitals (68 %), doctors (65 %) and traditional healthcare websites (56 %) will become the main platforms on which to sell mHealth solutions. Generally speaking all distribution channels will grow in importance, but developers envision that in just 5 years’ time the major distribution channel will be doctors prescribing or suggesting applications to patients as a component of treatment.
The survey was conducted between August and September 2010.
Source: ePractice EU, 10/01/2011.