Global mHealth market to reach $20.7B by 2018

A new research report forecasts that the global mHealth market, currently estimated at $6.6 billion, is expected to reach $20.7 billion by 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.5 percent, according to an announcement from Markets and Markets.

The report reveals that the major drivers of the mHealth market include increasing awareness of chronic diseases, growing adoption of smartphones, high penetration of 3G and 4G networks, advanced mobile connectivity and a promise of better healthcare cost-efficiency. 

"The highest growth will be witnessed by the diabetes management devices market during the forecast period, majorly due to the increasing global burden of diabetic population," states the report from research and consulting firm MarketsandMarkets. When it comes to health apps, sleep and meditation, and weight loss, apps are expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. 

"Despite the higher download volume of healthcare applications, revenue contribution of apps is not significant since the majority of applications are free and paid apps cost between $1 and $2 each," finds the report. "The healthcare apps market is dominated by exercise apps with just less than one-fifth of the share." 

Currently, North America holds the largest share of the global mHealth market with an estimated value of $2.9 billion, while Europe and Asia "will witness potential growth due to significant adoption of mobile health technology and government initiatives." In 2013, the U.K. India, China, Japan, Africa, and Australia are the major contributors among emerging countries.

However, the report finds that stringent regulations by the FDA and the EU, and data insecurity, hinder market growth, while "low patient-doctor ratio in underdeveloped countries such as Africa and other potential mHealth platforms such as smart TV increase the scope of mHealth penetration globally."

In March, a report by mobile research firm research2guidance predicted that the mobile healthcare services market will begin the commercialization phase and reach $26 billion worldwide by 2017 as smartphone apps enable the mHealth industry to monetize these services. Forty-two percent of the estimated 97,000 mHealth applications currently available in app stores adhere to the paid business model. Given that more traditional healthcare providers are joining the mobile apps market, the report forecasted that business models will broaden to include healthcare services, sensor, advertising, and drug sales revenues.

To learn more:
- read the announcement