Guest Column | April 4, 2013

Taking The Pulse Of Mobile Health

Pulse Of Mobile Health

By Whitney L.J. Howell

It’s no secret the healthcare industry is going digital. Electronic health records, health information exchanges, and Web-based patient portals are becoming ubiquitous features in nearly all clinical environments. But the fastest, most widely adopted digital push, according to healthcare industry experts, has undoubtedly been in mobile health.

Frequently referred to as mHealth, this phenomenon is the practice of medicine and public health through mobile devices. And, in the great scheme of healthcare developments, mHealth is relatively new. However, it’s already proving to have a large and growing impact.

Consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that by 2017, mHealth will post revenues of $23 billion, with $6.5 billion coming from North America. It’s anticipated that, by that time, nearly two-thirds of the market will be dedicated to remote monitoring of chronic disease.

Although most insurance plans still don’t reimburse physicians for mHealth activities, the healthcare industry is already seeing the cost savings associated with these tools. According to a 2012 Benton Foundation study, mHealth improved medical productivity by $11.2 billion just in 2011. Those gains are expected to reach $305.1 billion by 2022.

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