Mobile phones have become an intrinsic part of people’s everyday life, being used for a lot more than making calls. The real revolution in mobile phone usage was brought upon by smartphones, which let people access the internet, make restaurant and hotel bookings, check the weather, send and receive mails, and a lot more. With time, mobile communication devices have also become a popular means for people to avail of certain healthcare and medical services, with the concept being termed mobile health or mHealth. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 3.7 billion people with tablets or smartphones downloaded healthcare applications in 2017.
Thus, with the increasing penetration of smartphones, the mHealth market size is expected to grow from $23.0 billion in 2017 to $132.2 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 33.5% between 2018 and 2023 (forecast period). With mHealth, people can communicate with their doctor without actually visiting them. Apart from this, among the loads of other advantages driving the popularity of the concept are alerts and text messages alerting people of the major health issues currently prevailing as well as those prompting them to take their medication on schedule.
In the coming years, the adoption of connected glucose monitors would increase the most rapidly among all such devices, on account of the rising prevalence of diabetes. As per the World Health Organization, 422 million people across the world suffer from this common condition, wherein either the body develops insulin resistance or the pancreas stop producing the hormone altogether. The major causes of diabetes are age and obesity; the WHO reports that in every 10 people, one person is obese. Additionally, as per the United Nations, from 703 million in 2019, the population of people above the age of 65 would surge to 1.5 billion by 2050.
Around the world, North America is currently the largest user of mHealth apps, devices, and services, owing to the fact that its IT and telecom infrastructure is quite advanced and the major companies in the industry here are engaged in R&D. Owing to similar reasons, Asia-Pacific (APAC) is predicted to observe the fastest mHealth market growth in the coming years. Additionally, several companies based in Europe and North America are targeting the untapped customers here, which would further drive the popularity of the concept in the coming years.
Therefore, as the penetration of smartphones increases further and people become more aware of their innovative applications, the concept of mHealth would find even more takers.