Connected devices and machine-to-machine technology, as well as mobile network advancements and emergence of low-cost smartphones will spur mobile healthcare market growth as provider and payer organizations seek new ways to streamline costs and improve patient care, according to Visiongain's latest market forecast.
The market research firm predicts the mHealth market will reach a $6.7 billion valuation by the end of 2014.
While the industry is still "in its infancy," according to an announcement from the firm, mobile operators, software developers, data management providers and a majority of care practitioners worldwide are preparing "for a tidal industry shift."
"Austerity measures have forced many health departments around the globe to rein in their spending and find more cost-effective ways of operating," the announcement says. "Enabling them to diagnose, monitor, and communicate with patients remotely, mHealth promises extensive cost-savings for healthcare professionals and institutions."
The report notes the advent of wearables as a market force, and predicts that products such as at-home cardiac monitoring devices that track everything from heart beat to respiration rates will beat out smartphones and tablet as mHealth tools.
"The speed at which late model smartwatches and smart bracelets are being upgraded threatens to outpace established smartphone and tablet markets," the report's authors state. "As these older device markets enter a maturity stage, wearable smart devices will be poised to fill revenue gaps for incumbent vendors."
Many physicians--like Joseph Kvedar, director of the Boston-based Partners HealthCare Center for Connected Health--already view wearable devices as a game changer in the healthcare industry.
"With all the device and genetic data we're going to get on you, it's a whole new era of personalized care that's going to emerge,"Kvedar recently told the Wall Street Journal.
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