LG Watch Urbane

Important Trends That Will Reshape mHealth in 2017

The advancement in mobile devices has led to significant growth in the mHealth industry. Smartphones are now pre-built with health sensors, which has made it easier for users to track their health.

But what trends should we expect in 2017 that will reshape the mobile health industry? In a special guest post, our friend, JenTechnology, offers perspective.

Increase in health app downloads

In 2013, a Research2Guidance report predicted 2017 would be a significant year for mhealth apps as the market would be worth a staggering $26 billion, with medical apps being integrated into medical professionals’ treatment plans.

However the challenge now is how to sync all this data into one place. Apple has addressed this concern and released their new Health app that gathers all health-related data from apps and presents them in an easy-to-use and organized dashboard. Hopefully, other operating systems will have the same built-in features to make it easier for users to view their health data and submit it to medical professionals if need be.

Wider IoT connection

While most wearables are high-tech, they still lack the ability to connect to the internet even without a paired smartphone. Although there have been smartwatches in the past that have had the ability to run their own SIM card, mobile manufacturers continue to release tethered devices. But, this is set to change.

The next generation of mHealth technologies is expected to be standalone and have the ability to connect to the internet utilizing their own SIM card slots. O2 stated that today’s mobile plans come with high-speed connectivity and less restrictive data packages at a reasonable price. It will allow mHealth devices to connect with other internet-based technologies (smart homes, smart cars, etc.) and create a healthy tech-powered ecosystem for consumers.

Advanced mHealth technologies

The next generation of mHealth technologies will boast advanced health-assisting features for specific patients. They will offer more in-depth health analysis. Many other specialized health-assistive technologies debuted at the CES 2017. They give us a glimpse of what to expect next. For instance, the S Skin and its micro-needle patch that scans the skin. Then it sends direct light solution to the affected area. Likewise, Google and Novartis have presented the smart contact lens that offers a non-invasive way of measuring glucose levels while correcting eye problems. The market is now mature in utilizing personal mHealth devices, and new innovations are just around the corner.

Here are some other trends to watch in the mHealth industry this year:

• Applications will join the traditional health distribution channels
• mHealth apps and devices will focus on chronic diseases and elderly care
• mHealth business models will broaden

2017 will be a prosperous year for mHealth in 2017. We cannot wait to see how things play out in the coming months. Is it possible that virtual or augmented reality could enter telehealth in 2017? Maybe, that’s a subject we can cover next.

Exclusively written for ConscienHealth
by JenTechnology

LG Watch Urbane, photograph © Kārlis Dambrāns / flickr

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February 25, 2017