Mobile health, or mHealth, has been one of the fastest emerging trends within the digital healthcare space over the past few years, delivering healthcare support via mobile technologies such as smartphone applications and smart wearables. The presence of strict healthcare regulations in North America, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), are encouraging more and more healthcare service providers to adopt mHealth solutions.
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The use of mHealth platforms has increased substantially amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation. According to a recent report, nearly 2,000 healthcare facilities in San Francisco are currently utilizing mHealth wearables for daily monitoring of temperature to identify patients infected by the virus.
North America mHealth market is estimated to record substantial gains of more than US$113 billion by 2026, with growing penetration of internet and smart technologies, and the rising prevalence of chronic conditions.
- Growing adoption of mHealth mobile apps
Mobile applications and wearable devices are two of the most common mHealth platforms. Mobile mHealth apps accounted for a revenue share of more than 69% in 2019 and are expected to witness a notable adoption in the near future.
Health apps are rapidly emerging as a promising solution for remote health monitoring and management. With growing use of smart devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, a vast majority of today’s digital audience is taking an interest in tracking their health digitally. Record show that Fitbit was among the most popular and widely adopted health and fitness apps in the U.S. in 2018 with more than 27 million unique users.
- Increasing use in remote data collection
Communication and training, diagnostics and treatment, education and awareness, remote monitoring, remote data collection, and disease and epidemic outbreak tracking are among the major application of mHealth. mHealth industry size form remote data collection application was valued at US$2.97 billion in 2019 and is likely to grow substantially.
Remote data collection is an important healthcare procedure which allows professionals to test the efficacy of health programs. Meanwhile, the use of mHealth solutions in disease and epidemic outbreak tracking in recent months has grown considerably due to rapid spread of COVID-19 outbreak and will further grow at a CAGR of over 41% by through 2026.
- Widespread adoption among physicians
In terms of the end-user, physicians accounted for more than 30% revenue share of mHealth market in 2019 and will continue to witness a notable adoption. This can be mainly linked with ongoing healthcare expenditure and widespread adoption of advanced digital technologies among healthcare institutions.
mHealth platforms and applications enable physicians to bridge the communication gap with patients more efficiently. Mobile-based applications help doctors diagnose, monitor, and treat physical or medical conditions in a timely and flexible manner. In the near future, more and more physicians are expected to rely on digital health technologies to remotely diagnose, monitor, and treat patients’ illnesses.
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- Rising occurrence of chronic diseases in Canada
mHealth industry in Canada is projected to witness a robust CAGR of 42.8% through 2026, with an increasing burden of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, and obesity. The regional government has undertaken active initiatives to ensure easy availability of mHealth apps and services. The presence of major digital health companies in the country focusing on developing low-cost mHealth solutions will foster the regional outlook.
Meanwhile, U.S. mHealth market size, which as valued at more than US$10 billion in 2019, will experience commendable growth in the upcoming years. The regional growth can be mainly attributed to a well-established healthcare IT infrastructure and ongoing healthcare investments. The U.S. government has taken several steps for widespread implementation of mobile focused health apps.
The next several years are poised to witness an increased need for remote patient monitoring and management services such as mHealth apps and devices, with increasing occurrence of chronic diseases and the sustained nature of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Remote patient monitoring could prove to be a cost-effective solution by reducing emergency visits for patients suffering from various chronic diseases.