The mHealth market earned revenues of $230 million in 2010 and is estimated to reach $392 million in 2015, according to a new report from research firm Frost & Sullivan.
The report, "Analysis of the U.S. Broadband mHealth Applications Market," notes that the mobile health app market continues to see substantial growth, and is expected to continue expansion as business models and significant value offerings continue to evolve. However, the report also makes note of various restrictions on market entry, as seen in 2011 with the release of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mHealth guidelines.
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"From 2008 to 2010 mHealth consistently outpaced forecast growth and revenue," said Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst Zachary Bujnoch. "mHealth apps will continue on a steep growth curve as increasingly sophisticated mobile technologies and relationship-management tools disrupt the market."
Near-term market growth will occur as more new users purchase mobile apps and current users continue to purchase and use more mHealth apps. Based on this, it follows that app purchase revenue will grow.
"Today, we are seeing the tip of the iceberg in the U.S. mHealth market's potential," said Bujnoch. "Despite the hype, mobile apps are the single-biggest digital channel since the '90s and the Web."
However, he notes that the market is besieged by many significant challenges both regulatory and also concerning issues of consumer engagement.
"Consumer awareness is mixed, with privacy and security concerns ever present in the mHealth market," said Bujnoch. "Also, while still overall a good thing, increases in FDA regulation and oversight may dampen innovation."
Bujnoch suggests partnerships in the market will have to occur. "Partnerships and acquisitions are rampant and necessary for this market to continue to grow," he said. "The breadth of knowledge and expertise needed for success is typically too wide even for the largest of companies – making such collaborations necessary."