Mobile health applications could triple by 2012

New innovations in the mobile healthcare market are expected to drive down costs soon while quickly expanding access and improving quality. By next year, the current number of applications (about 200 million) could triple, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

Report author, analyst Pamela Culver, tells Healthcare IT News, that as m-health "connects, informs, and protects patients and caregivers," new opportunities will be opening up for mobile network operators, original equipment manufacturers, hardware and software vendors, and "a new breed" of device and application providers specializing in m-health.

One of the findings from the report is that 70 percent of people worldwide are interested in having access to at least one m-health application--and they are willing to pay for it. This is an important development when considering that resistance to earlier m-health applications had focused on costs related to developing services and educating providers, payers and patients--and justifying those costs for reimbursement purposes.

While the technology is available for m-health to advance, physicians and providers still will need to address several challenges. In particular, the healthcare industry has been a slow adopter of technology-and regulatory issues often have slowed down the process even more, according to the report, "Health Check: Key Players in Mobile Healthcare."

In addition, the security of mobile technology will continue to remain an issue--especially when combined with the sensitivity of private healthcare information, the report adds.

For further details:
- see this article in Healthcare IT News
- read the summary of the report