mHealth app market poised for big growth

By Erin McCann
10:39 AM
To see 61 percent increase by 2017

The mobile health application market is headed for explosive growth, according to a new report by Research and Markets, which has projected the market will swell 61 percent by 2017, reaching $26 billion. 

Officials forecast the market will reach more than 3.4 billion smartphone and tablet users with access to mHealth applications. Fifty percent of these users will have downloaded mHealth applications, according to report findings. 
Report authors say the mHealth app market is currently in the commercialization phase, where a massive increase in offered solutions has transpired. However, missing regulations for the mHealth sector proves to be a significant barrier to entering the integrated phase, where mHealth will become more integral in physician treatment plans, according to the report.
Currently, market revenue is generated primarily by mHealth services and hardware sales as opposed to application downloads, officials say. 
The top 10 mHealth applications analyzed in the report have generated nearly four million free downloads and 300,000 paid downloads. 
According to a  2012 report, the number of adults using mobile phones for health information stood at 75 million in 2012, up from 61 million in 2011, and tablet health activity adoption doubling from 15 million to 29 million in the same time period.