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The future of mHealth goes well beyond fitness apps

Jen A. Miller | Dec. 5, 2014
Mobile health (mHealth) is still a work in progress and is growing and changing along with healthcare needs. While fitness apps are hot now, the future for mHealth apps lies in remote monitoring and consultation.

"The upcoming apps will do other things like provide tracking for patients with diabetes or COPD or asthma," says Jahns. "If they do that right today, they have a much higher growth potential than those fitness apps."

Part of equation involves healthcare costs. Apps that "lower the cost of providing care and lower the cost of care -- those types of applications will grow because they'll lower the ultimate healthcare cost," says Gliklich. That could include apps that provide some version of telehealth, or apps that help patients manage chronic conditions.

"Healthcare is a very traditional industry that doesn't accept change well," he says "But a lot of the changes are driven by the consumerization of healthcare." When patients have high deductible plans, or they use concierge medicine, they have an incentive to bring down the cost of their own care.

"That drives them to see solutions that are more convenient and beneficial to them," he says.

Gliklich also sees possible growth in the next level of data. That could come from wearables, and apps that will use that data. The next generation of those devices, he says, will measure more things and give us constant feedback. It is part of a trend where the patient is the supplier of information instead of having information drawn from them.

"We're going to be creating a world that has a lot more health information that's coming from the patient as opposed to coming from the electronic medical record," he says. "It's going to create a need for more cloud-based services that are combining both sources of information and giving back to the consumer and tell them what might benefit them."


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