Mobile health app market predicted to hit $400M by 2016

If you haven't added remote patient monitoring to your mobile strategy, you should, according to the latest research from ABI Research.

The London-based company's newest study, "Mobile Devices and mHealth," predicts the overall mobile health app market will nearly quadruple to $400 million by the year 2016, up from $120 million in 2010. The largest growth potential for mobile apps will be in sports/fitness/wellness apps, which are expected to make up the bulk of the $400 million market in 2016, the study shows. In particular, however, the revenue from downloads of remote patient monitoring apps is expected to hit $63 million by 2016, according to data shared exclusively with FierceMobileHealthcare.

One of the big drivers behind the market growth is the development of wearable sensors, fabrics, and bandages that collect and transmit biometric data without requiring the patient to enter the data, or even really be aware of the sensors themselves. Also driving the expansion is the recent creation of Bluetooth 4.0 and other low-power, long-running sensors, which don't require frequent battery replacements, ABI's principal analyst for mHealth and M2M devices, Jonathan Collins, tells FierceMobileHealthcare.

"Remote patient monitoring--it's growing," Collins says. It's "connecting to patients where they are more comfortable, gathering data without using [hospital] resources on site. That's clearly a strong area [for providers] to investigate."

The research predicts one major change for at-home monitoring: Devices right now often transmit data via a patient's smartphone or tablet, but that will quickly change to devices having embedded cellular or other wireless capability, and transmit the data directly to providers or other recipients, according to Collins.

He adds that remote monitoring vendors will create a "home gateway" device that allows multiple in-home or remote monitoring units to transmit their data to providers without requiring an intermediary device, like a smartphone.

To learn more:
- read the ABI press release
- check out the eWeek story

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