318,500 mHealth apps now available

KEY TAKEAWAY:   IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science,found a significant increase in the proportion of mobile health apps that focus on health conditions and patient care, as opposed to those for general wellness. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] Health condition management apps now account for 40% of all health-related apps, up from 27% in 2015[/inlinetweet].  The biggest barriers to mHealth adoption are user experience and ensuring that HCP’s accept the data.

While there are more than 300,000 (health) applications only a fraction of the programs are certified as medical products.  That’s a huge problem. In addition, according to a global survey from Kentico Software, there may not be enough capabilities among medical facilities when it comes to patient portals, secure messaging, and general mobile health technology. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]At least half of survey takers issued a C rating with regard to the use of mobile health applications to communicate with healthcare professionals.[/inlinetweet]

However, patients and doctors want mHealth apps “if they are shown to improve patient outcomes and help patients monitor their health”. Research Now conducted a survey that looked at how mobile health applications and the mobile health industry is affecting patient care and physician workflow. Research Now polled a total of 1,000 mHealth app users and 500 medical professionals. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The results show that 86 percent of healthcare professionals believe mobile health apps increase their knowledge on a patient’s medical condition.[/inlinetweet] [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]

Additionally, more than half of those surveyed believe that mHealth applications can help consumers who are healthy remain at an optimal level of health.[/inlinetweet] Also, nearly half – 48 percent – of survey takers think that the technologies within the mobile health industry may be able to help patients who were recently discharged from a hospital make a better transition to home-based care and:

  • [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]46 percent – felt that mHealth apps actually strengthen their relationship with their patients.[/inlinetweet]
  • [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Three out of four polled medical care professionals – 76 percent – have suggested that mobile health tools assist patients with managing chronic medical conditions.[/inlinetweet]

Should pharma jump on this bandwagon?

Without a question, YES!  Pharma needs to start experimenting with mHealth now so that lessons learned can be applied to improve the relationship between pharma, patients, and HCP’s. Imagine patients that go to their doctor because a mHealth app informed them that there might be a medical problem.  There are also endless possibilities to improve compliance and medication adherence.

mHealth is here. Next comes the shakeout of pretenders from serious contenders. Either pharma is going to be proactive and experiment or they are again going to remain on the sideline and wait till the boat has sailed.