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Top 9 Mobile Health Trends 2015


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The mHealth industry is exploding at the moment. Within two years, the total mobile health market will reach $26B in revenue according to Research and Markets. Additionally, telemedicine, wearables and sensors, Apple HealthKit and Google Fit together with big data health predictions have all been hot topics of debate during our trends workshops this year.

To give you a comprehensive overview of what's going on in this space we present our Top 9 Mobile Health Trends 2015.

Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Top 9 Mobile Health Trends 2015

  1. 1. Top 9 Mobile Health Trends 2015
  2. 2. It is undeniable that mobile health is among the hottest tech trends for 2015 listed by Gartner, PWC, Forbes and of course DMI/Golden Gekko. We highlighted it in our Top Mobile Trends for 2015 and it’s been a hot topic of debate for all our trends workshops over the past month. We are talking about how mobile is transforming the healthcare industry. We’ve not taken insurance, healthcare commercials and regulatory challenges for individual markets into account as this report is intended to provide trends and insights. The report also doesn’t include our normal “What does it mean for you” as the implications vary too much between the different players in the healthcare sector. “By 2017 the total mHealth market will reach $26B in revenue” Research and Markets
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  4. 4. 1. Telemedicine Don’t want to visit the doctor to check out your swollen ankle? You don’t have to. Telemedicine is allowing people to communicate with nurses, doctors and specialists from home or the office and mobile devices are enabling this revolution. Established players in the US include HealthTap, American Well, Doctor On Demand and Teladoc. Together with start-ups such as Bestdoctor, MDLIVE, ZocDoc, SoloHealth and others in this space they will truly begin to disrupt the healthcare sector. Stats indicate that 52% of patients would be comfortable undergoing a video consultation with their physician. “Telemedicine is ‘the biggest trend in digital health in 2015’” Skip Fleshman, Partner at Asset Management Ventures
  5. 5. 2. Mobilization of Processes and Documents In the above mentioned study, 69% of respondents also noted that they used apps to access clinical information. However, only 33% reportedly believe they can access most or all of the clinical systems technologies they need via smartphones/tablet computers. Hospitals, care homes and health institutions are leveraging mobile to change and improve the way they work ranging from schedule management, time reporting and communication between care takers to submission of forms, safety, ordering of medicine, accessing patient records and logging of patient data. This is by no means a fast process due to HIPPA compliance and other regulatory requirements but it’s happening. One example is LifeLink which provides a personal cloud based solution to patient records. Clinicians access information needed to provide information care via Desktop (89%), Laptops (78%), Smartphones (55%) and Tablets (51%) HIMSS 2014 Mobile Device Study
  6. 6. 3. Wearables and Sensors When wearables are discussed most people refer to smart watches, fitness trackers and Google Glass. This is not where the big innovation is and in fact doctors tell us that they are not even interested in the data provided by fitness trackers and smart watches. Not everyone wants to admit that or the current issue with wearables that half of the people that buy them stop using the device within 3 months. Instead it will be specialised wearables and sensors that are the big break-through. Here are a few examples: Electrozyme is developing a printed, flexible strip sensor that measures electrolyte balance, hydration, muscle exertion and physical performance SniffPhone is a device connected to your phone that will be able
  7. 7. 3. Wearables and Sensors (continued) to diagnose diseases with a whiff of your breath. More info here. Augmedix is a start-up that originally based their product on Google Glass which automatically populates a patient’s electronic health records based on conversations during appointments with physicians. Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. has come up with a way to eliminate the pain when taking blood glucose readings, thanks to its FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System. Utilisation is endless. There are sensors that measure hydration and tell people to drink more water, when and how to take headache pills, measuring and analysing hormone levels and many, many more values. This Pinterest page shows all the latest mHealth devices. “Sensors will be everywhere - on your wrist, on your phone, in your medication, [...] it will accelerate generating a mountain of new data to sift through” Bill Russell, CIO St. Joseph Health
  8. 8. 4. DIY and Prescription-Only Apps Twenty percent of respondents to an HRI consumer survey said FDA approval was very important in their decisions to use a mobile app. WellDoc’s BlueStar is a “Mobile Prescription Therapy” that allows people to input data about their glucose levels, diet, exercise and more. Another app that has recently been approved by the FDA allows radiologists to view images on their smartphone. It is important to determine whether your product is a medical device or app. If your product is a medical device you need to go through the 510 clearances. We expect to see more of these as health care apps truly have an impact on our health. HealthTap ranked the top apps in 2014 which were mostly food and exercise related. “86% of clinicians believe that apps will become important for health management over the next 5 years” PWC Top Health Industry Trends 2015
  9. 9. 5. Apple HealthKit and Google Fit in Hospitals So far HealthKit is in the pilot / prototype stage but every pharmaceutical and major health institution that we’ve spoken to want to test HealthKit and equivalent services from other mobile platform providers. Hospitals and medical centres hope that these services will help with monitoring patients with long-term health issues such as diabetes or hypertension. The objective is to provide timely information to allow for intervention before the patient needs to be readmitted to hospital. At the moment Apple HealthKit appears to be most widely used, perhaps for the simple reason that the majority of developers are working with it. However, many medical centres are also piloting Google Fit as well as Samsung’s offering. “14 of the top 23 hospitals are either already testing HealthKit or are in talks to do so” Reuters Research, February 2015
  10. 10. 6. Big Data Health Predictions Can Technology fix Medicine? Can Big Data be used to improve health and treatments, predict diseases, treat complex health issues as stress, migraines, sleeping disorder and help change behaviour? With Big Data we will not only be able to analyse results but recommend the right measures, communication and treatments in real time. Not only will this be applicable to healthcare providers to improve patient care, but in principle, Big Data can provide health and genome intelligence on entire populations. In the face of local viruses or pandemics, the data could be analysed to point towards the most effective course of action. However, this highlights how crucial privacy and security will become when information this sensitive is gathered on a large scale. “95% of e-patients do not care if their PHI is shared and two-thirds to three- fourths of those patients expect to be discriminated in housing, insurance and employment based on that data” HealthIT & mHealth, 2015
  11. 11. 7. Consumer Engagement and Communication According to the mHealth Summit, ‘Consumer Engagement’ is the new buzzword. Extending the relationship between the provider and the consumer who at times is a patient. We can envision a dialogue to be opened up across digital channels that will enhance this trusted relationship. For example, as part of a Clinton Health Access Initiative in Malawi, there is an HIV test for newborns that is not a traditional POC test, but results are delivered via text message. This reduces the six-to- eight-week waiting time by half. “We’re long past trying to influence consumer behavior - we need to leverage it” Janet Schijns, VP Global Verticals & Channel Marketing at Verizon Enterprise Solutions
  12. 12. 8. Venture Capital Investors Pouring Money into Healthcare According to TechCrunch, the venture capitalists invested 250% more money into health insurance in 2014 than they did the year prior. In April 2015 Oscar was one of the first mHealth startups to reach unicorn ($1 Bn dollar valuation). Other possible mHealth cadidates for IPOs in 2015 are Practice Fusion, Doximity, Healthgrades, Evolent Health, Best Doctors, ZocDoc, and AirStrip
  13. 13. 9. The Race to Take Care of the Elderly Baby boomers are getting older and there are not enough geriatric physicians or even primary care physicians to care appropriately for this ageing group. Almost all wearables and new technology for the elderly are GPS or location based, with the purpose of finding lost nursing home residents or informing family members that an accident has occurred. GeriJoy is one of the few technologies that is focused on improving the quality of life for the elderly.
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