Updated on 17 September 2013
The need for accessibility in healthcare has led to large information technology (IT)-based companies and mobile-based healthcare firms to join the healthcare sector
Conventional solutions to address health related problems worldwide have been rising enormously. In many cases the healthcare providers are not able to provide treatment because of accessibility problem in many regions. Therefore, in current scenario, the need of the hour is innovation from latest technologies and this is where internet-based innovation from digital and social media comes into play.
In recent years, most of the pharmaceutical giants have been moving to reinvent their business models due to many challenges faced by them and it includes providing low priced medicines, patent cliff, and demographic challenges faced by these pharmaceutical giants. This has lead to the entry of large information technology (IT)-based companies, mobile-based healthcare firms who have been recently very active in healthcare mobile sector.
Socialization of healthcare via mobile (mHealth)
There has been a mobile revolution as to how smartphones with different software platform are used by consumers to access global information and how individuals share information on a click of a button. The software platform provides basic services such as networking and database for mobile apps to run. The usage of smartphones by all age groups has penetrated very deep in today's society. In addition, currently healthcare data being generated is interconnected with cloud-based technologies, such as search based, location based, communication based and social capabilities that make healthcare mobile applications more interactive for healthcare patients worldwide. According to Google, by 2015 there will be one mobile phone for every person on earth.
Currently, increased consumption of mobile technologies which is offering a lot of indispensable features are very valuable for electronic-health (e-health) applications seeing the current user lifestyle. Therefore, e-health based mobile applications have gained worldwide acceptance and more commonly termed as m-health (mobile-health) apps. According to a recent report, market for mHealth app services is estimated to reach $26 billion by 2017 as the mHealth industry enters the commercialization phase.
mHealth applications provide caregivers, patients, health professionals and healthcare consumers various tools, processes, and communication means to support electronic healthcare practice. Apple's iOS platform and Google's Android have centralized app stores. However, Apple's App store has been the number one app marketplace in current times in terms of the number of apps available.