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Mobilizing MedTech for mHealth
Market trends and potential opportunities
The MedTech industry has met its next growth engine–Mobile Health (mHealth). The global mHealth market was an estimated $10.5 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow 33.5 percent annually between 2015 and 2020.¹ By harnessing the exponential power of mobile technologies, data and analytics, mHealth is anticipated to disrupt traditional health care delivery models and drive innovation across the care continuum.
- Mobilizing MedTech for mHealth
- What is mHealth?
- mHealth’s impact on the patient journey
- Potential implications and opportunities for MedTech
- Meet the author
Mobilizing MedTech for mHealth
MedTech companies have the potential to benefit from innovation driven by mHealth solutions, but they should be thorough and deliberate when determining ways to capitalize on specific opportunities. Companies should decide whether to embrace mHealth at the corporate, business unit, or product level and identify ways to help create value for shareholders across the information value loop. In addition, it’s important for MedTech companies to determine which capabilities they should build versus partner for or purchase.
What is mHealth?
mHealth is the utilization of mobile technologies to provide health-care-related solutions across the patient journey. It is a component of Connected Health, in which sensors, networks, standards, augmented intelligence, and consumer behavior are helping create opportunities to impact and improve the patient journey. mHealth aims to empower patients with information and management of their own health; promote outcomes improvement through enhanced decision-making; help reduce costs and increase access throughout the system, and supply data for predictive modeling of at-risk populations.
mHealth solutions span applications (apps), smart devices (wearable and non-wearable), aggregation platforms, and analytics, creating business models across the “information value loop." Many MedTech companies own a piece of this loop, often in sensor technologies. However, unless companies design solutions that link all of the pieces, mHealth’s value to the health care system may remain limited.
mHealth’s impact on the patient journey
Consumers using technology to manage their health are the “pull” force propelling many mHealth opportunities. As consumer and physician adoption rates for mHealth and other technology solutions continue to rise, and new uses emerge, the patient journey experience across the spectrum of preventive care and wellness, diagnosis, treatment decision, treatment, and high-risk care management is expected to evolve.
Potential implications and opportunities for MedTech
mHealth’s disruption of the care continuum may trigger substantial implications and opportunities for the MedTech industry across the care continuum. Further, since mHealth enables the provision of care outside traditional settings such as hospitals and physician offices, it will likely drive associated growth in alternate delivery systems such as home-and community-based care. Companies should be thorough and deliberate when identifying ways to capitalize on potential opportunities.
Important mHealth innovation considerations for growth and sustainable advantages:
- Make a strategic decision on whether to embrace mHealth and whether this will be driven at the corporate, business unit, or product line level. MedTech companies should identify where in the information value loop it is most likely to monetize an mHealth solution.
- Target the diseases for which the organization wants to leverage mHealth solutions and identify how these solutions can provide value in the patient journey through data and results from studies that show these solutions work in real populations to help change behavior, engage patients, and improve outcomes.
- Collaborate with other organizations aligned on a similar patient experience vision. This can provide a mechanism to bring mHealth solutions to patients while leveraging innovation, technical competencies, and commercial and regulatory expertise.
- Expand the scope of regulatory awareness beyond the FDA. Multi-agency oversight is likely to become the new norm as the FTC, FCC, OCR, and others become more involved in the creation and enforcement of mHealth regulations.
- Leverage mHealth for emerging markets. This may enable collaboration among MedTech companies and other organizations to develop innovative solutions that can address patient access challenges while helping improve health outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
1 Allied Market Research, https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/mhealth-2015-market