Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mobile Healthcare App Trends

The Health IT space is strong and is growing at a tremendous rate. Georgia, for example, has more than 186 companies operating in the Health IT space, employing over 15,000 people and growing at an aggregated 40% rate (source: Technology Association of Georgia). 

In recognition of the strength of this sector, Modern Healthcare recently published an article highlighting the role mobile apps play in the healthcare space and sharing several important trends.

Highlights from the article follow.

What is the adoption rate?  According to a survey of more than 8,600 adults released in October 2013 by Manhattan Research:
  • About 95 million Americans used their mobile phones either as healthcare tools or to find health information – up 27% from 75 million in 2012.
  • Smartphones have become an “indispensible” source of healthcare information for many, with 38% of smartphone users saying their device was “essential” for finding health and medical information.
What Health IT App’s Do.  The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics recently completed a study of nearly 43,700 iTunes apps purported to be health or medical apps.  In a subsequent report, IMS reported:
  • Only 54% of the apps were “genuine” healthcare apps. And of those, 69% targeted consumers and patients while 31% were built for use by clinicians.
  • Most of the consumer healthcare apps were “simple in design and [did] little more than provide information.”
  • Only 159 of the consumer apps tracked or captured user-entered data
  • Fewer than 50 of the apps related to condition management or provided tools and calculators for users to measure their vitals
Which apps are used most?  In a 2013 Modern Healthcare survey seeking to identify the “Most Important Mobile Medical Applications,” respondents said they continue to rely on old standbys among apps, defined as downloadable software programs that are mobile device-specific.
  • In all, respondents identified 83 apps and devices performing 46 primary functions.  Many of the apps are specifically described in the article.
  • The most popular mobile medical app function in the survey was drug reference, followed by general medical reference and personal fitness. 
Prospects for Continued Growth.  A recent policy brief on mobile health by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, published in the journal Health Affairs, cited industry experts who predict:
  • The number of mobile health apps will increase by a rate of 25% a year for the foreseeable future.
  • Globally, 500 million consumers and healthcare providers will use a mobile health app within the next two years.
  • By 2018, “half of the 3.4 billion mobile device users worldwide will download a health app.”

Why is a real estate person tracking this information?  It's fairly simple.  Healthcare and technology organizations BOTH benefit when they work with a commercial agent who understands the factors impacting their business strategies.  Mobile health providers benefit from my team's ability to protect their specialized technology needs and through our clear understanding of the marketplace in which they operate.  And our healthcare provider clients benefit through our understanding of the role technology plays in today’s complex healthcare delivery environment.

I'm happy to discuss your specific situation... feel free to call me at 404.547.20009.

-John