The most successful mHealth application ventures use a services strategy, boast a robust tool portfolio and embrace medical APIs, according to a new study published by research2guidance.
The study, "mHealth App Developer Economics 2014: The State of the Art of mHealth App Publishing," outlines three additional factors that play into viable commercial mHealth app operations--development on iOS, tapping development tools for monitoring performance and several years of experience. More than 2,000 mHealth app publishers were surveyed for the study, conducted in partnership with HIMSS and the Continua Alliance.
Additionally, the report's authors say, commercial success is due to great app design, usability, functionality, visible advertising and being featured in an app storefront.
"The results of the study clearly show that commercially successful mHealth app publishers have more experience, which translates into a better strategy on how these apps are best developed," Ralf-Gordon Jahns, managing director of research2guidance, said in a blog post. "The success of these largely depends on a good understanding of the state of the art of app development, marketing budget and luck."
A recently published Mobiquity report proclaiming that 2014 will be the year mHealth apps hit the mainstream reports that 70 percent of consumers are using fitness and health monitoring apps on a daily basis, and that 63 percent plan to expand use over the next five years. The app market, which began within the fitness and wellness segment, is fast burgeoning into a market of sophisticated tools in which apps are monitoring voice and mood changes for bipolar treatment and aiding in cardiac surgery rehab.
The research2guidance report predicts that while fitness apps currently offer the highest business potential, remote monitoring and consultation apps will take the lead within five years.
Mobile health apps built on the two leading platforms--iOS and Android--have more than doubled in two-and-a-half years to reach more than 100,000 apps as of the first quarter of 2014, according to the study's authors. The mHealth app market revenue, which hit $2.4 billion in 2013, is expected to reach $26 billion by the close of 2017.
Just 5.1 percent of mHealth app makers have generated over $1 million, while the vast majority, 68 percent, have earned between zero and $10,000, to date.
Report: mHealth apps primed to hit mainstream this year
Smartphone app proves valuable for cardiac patients
Mobile app uses voice analysis to detect mood changes in bipolar patients
Why BlackBerry has the potential to drive mHealth apps forward