Mobile Future

mHealth hits the fast track

A report today from market research firm Kalorama Information concludes that in 2010, a majority of U.S. physicians used a PDA or smartphone for their work, up from 35-40 percent in 2008.

That report complements a second study, issued last week, projecting that use of mobile health (or m-health) apps will triple by 2012.  That study, titled “Health Check: Key Players in Healthcare,” was based on a public survey showing that 70 percent of respondents want access to m-health apps, even if they have to pay for it.

Meanwhile yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had a lengthy article about the vibrancy of the m-Health app market.  Reporter Anya Martin writes, “A growing number of free or cheap smartphone apps aim to help caregivers keep track of medication dosages, nutritional requirements and other daily health-care needs.”  She cites one recent study showing that mobile users can choose from more than 8,700 health-related apps.

The reason for all this activity is straightforward: Mobile healthcare offers the promise of dramatically expanding healthcare coverage for those with debilitating diseases while doing so more efficiently.  Patients who once had to travel to a doctor’s office for routine tests can now have them done at home, with the results automatically relayed to their provider.

Expanded coverage.  Cost savings.  That’s the reality of m-Health.