Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Mobile health apps marketplace ripe for transformation: ABI

Keith Kreisher
October 29, 2014
 
The marketplace for mobile health applications is ripe for transformation just as technology giants are poised to enter the arena, according to a new study from ABI Research.

The market-research company says a two-year study revealed there is very little continuity in the popularity of specific mobile health applications, with app popularity divided between a wide range of players and functionality.

The study looked in particular at two mobile health categories – health, and fitness and medical – across both iOS and Android storefronts in the US market.

“In both categories there has been a good deal of variation between the most popular apps – from quarter-to-quarter and between iOS and Android,” said Jonathan Collins, a principal analyst with ABI. “There is, however, some broad consensus around the types of applications that are popular and an increasing drive to integrate data collected from wearable wireless devices into an ecosystem of multiple players.”

Most apps either track activity or help to manage an individual’s general health, but there is growing interest in applications that can provide both medical information and connections to medical services, says ABI.

Epocrates and MyChart – both of which are offered by leading electronic health record companies – have emerged as popular applications across both the iOS and Android platforms.

Meanwhile, Apple (Cupertino, CA, USA), Google (Mountain View, CA, USA) and Samsung (Seoul, South Korea) have all recently set out their separate mobile health platforms to bring app-collected data into the world of healthcare services.

ABI expects these platforms to bring far greater scale to mobile health app data collection, which – in turn – is expected to drive far wider data integration into a range of applications, including healthcare services.

But players will have to deal with the challenge of keeping user data within their control or allowing data exchange with these emerging platforms – some of which are coming from device player rivals.

“Device and application vendors will increasingly need to leverage their experience and customer base in the transition to a new world of integration,” said Collins. “The seeds and the foundations for that change and the direction they should take can be seen in the development of the mobile health apps market over the past two years.”
 
 
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