In a recent post on the Chilmark Research blog, John Moore noted how mobile technology is a disruptive force in healthcare. "And with disruption, opportunity blooms," he wrote. If we only knew what Moore had up his sleeve.
On Monday, Moore and Chilmark released a new report saying the annual market for m-health in the healthcare enterprise alone will hit $1.7 billion by the end of 2014, thanks in no small part to fast adoption of smartphones and touch-screen tablet devices leading to an explosion in enterprise usage of mobile apps. "Similar to the hockey stick growth for mobile shown in the slide by Morgan Stanley's Mary Meeker in last week's post, the m-health app market will see a similar trajectory as healthcare enterprises strive not only to meet physician demands for mobile access to clinical information, but seek to improve workforce efficiencies in preparation of future healthcare and payment reform," Moore explains in another blog post.
Currently, more than 60 percent of healthcare enterprises employ not only smartphones, but many healthcare apps, Chilmark reports. "By the end of 2013, this market will reach saturation," Moore writes. This trend may help explain yesterday's acquisition of app developer Modality by Epocrates. "But of Modality's some 140 [iPhone operating system] iOS-based apps, only half are [health] and life sciences-related. Might Modality provide Epocrates the opportunity to expand into new markets now that the health content market is reaching saturation?" Moore wonders.
But physician content-driven apps like those offered by Epocrates and Modality generally don't connect to enterprise IT systems, and thus have limited value to healthcare organizations.
"What is of value to an enterprise is providing physicians with immediate access to the information they need to deliver the highest quality of care in the most efficient manner," Moore says, noting that the report focused on enterprise apps like EHRs, CPOE, e-prescribing, clinical decision support and charge capture. "Providing physicians m-health apps that will enable them to deliver higher quality at the point of care will rapidly become an important competitive differentiator as healthcare enterprises look toward not only meeting meaningful use requirements and structuring themselves for payment reform, but also improve internal workflow leading to higher efficiencies and more competitive positioning in the broader market."