mHealth global market to hit $11.8 billion by 2018

M-health has become the fastest-growing segment of the telehealth and telemedicine market, according to market intelligence firm GlobalData. New research projects the global market will reach $11.8 billion by 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent.

GlobalData's figures go beyond just apps, though they are a large chunk. It says software and services make up 80 percent of the total, while hardware accounts for 12 percent, and network and connectivity 8 percent.

Seventy percent of apps are aimed at consumers on devices such as the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, according to the report, while 30 percent are more sophisticated apps for medical professionals, such as those providing access to patient information or to create 3-D anatomical models.

Kalorama Information previously reported that the market for medical apps is expected to grow at an annual rate of 25 percent through 2016.

GlobalData's report also seems to differentiate between smartphone apps and the market for wearable monitoring devices, which ABI Research projected will grow from less than 3 million units in 2011 to more than 36 million units in 2017.

The U.S. spent $660 million of the $1.2 billion global expenditure on mHealth technology 2011, according to GlobalData. Europe spent $420 million and the Asia-Pacific region contributed $120 million.

With funding for pilot projects intact, a recent Fierce special report named mHealth among the winners from the Supreme Court decision upholding reform. It's expected to be among the areas ripe for business innovation.

To learn more:
- read the GlobalData announcement