According to a global mHealth report, 500 million people worldwide will be using a health application by 2015 – and if the actions of major industry players are any indication, these estimates are low. Companies like Apple and Samsung are betting big on health apps, and not just on disconnected applications that don’t provide real value to patients.
While mobile health apps saw widespread adoption last year by consumers looking to track weight, vitals, and other health stats and by physicians interested in increasing productivity and enhancing their relationships with patients, there is starting to be more integration between the apps consumers use and the systems healthcare organizations use to store and manage patient data (e.g. electronic health record software and patient portals).
Mobile apps and devices have a lot of untapped potential, and we are likely to see these industries really take off in the coming months.
Earlier this month, Apple unveiled a new app called Health. It has a nice design and easy-to-read dashboard, and it can pull all sorts of health and fitness data from third-party devices and apps. Through an API platform called HealthKit, it will also be possible to share data with other apps and systems, including those used by doctors.
The Mayo Clinic and EHR software provider Epic have already partnered with Apple to use HealthKit. With incentive programs continuing to push for greater patient engagement, other industry leaders are sure to follow.