Smartphones should top hospital CIOs' wish list in the five-year period ahead, according to a survey by market research company research2guidance.
A full 78 percent of respondents pointed to smartphones as offering "the best business opportunities for mobile healthcare," today, according to the Berlin-based research firm's "Global mHealth Developer Survey," published last month. Even more interesting: A full 82 percent saw smartphones dominating by the year 2015.
Cell phones, tablets and PDAs were distant competition, with 34 percent, 32 percent and 29 percent, respectively, saying they would be used most in healthcare in the near term.
Tablets did gain momentum by 2015, however, with a 69 percent response rate. One respondent even predicted that the devices would merge at some point, with hardware that's larger than a smartphone, but smaller than today's tablets.
On the app/software side, respondents indicated they were most excited about products that help with diabetes (80 percent of respondents). Obesity, hypertension, coronary heart disease and asthma apps weren't as popular (between 40 and 60 percent of respondents), but all have market potential too, survey takers indicate.
Apple dominates the platform side of the market, with its iOS, according to 70 percent of respondents, although Android's OS was expected to take the lead by 2015. Right now, Android is a distant second at 48 percent, following by BlackBerry OS (44 percent) and Windows Phone (24 percent).
And that's not all, folks: research2guidance says it's planning a new study on the broader smartphone application market, asking questions about the size of the potential market, as well as the main drivers and barriers to growth.