Mobile health monitoring on Gartner's top 10 trends list

By Bernie Monegain
10:08 AM

Mobile health monitoring is among the top 10 consumer mobile applications for 2012 identified by Gartner as likely to have an impact on consumers and industry players.

Gartner analysts considered revenue, loyalty, business model, consumer value and estimated market penetration in developing their list. Mobile health monitoring was listed at No. 5.

Money transfer, location-based services, mobile browsing and mobile search were ranked No, 1 through No. 4, respectively. At No. 6 through 10, respectively, are mobile payment, near-field communication services, mobile advertising, mobile instant messaging and mobile music.

"Mobile health monitoring is the use of IT and mobile telecommunications to monitor patients remotely, and could help governments, care delivery organizations and healthcare payers reduce costs related to chronic diseases and improve the quality of life of their patients," the Gartner report notes. "In developing markets, the mobility aspect is key as mobile network coverage is superior to fixed network in the majority of developing countries."

According to Gartner, mobile health monitoring is at an early stage of market maturity and implementation, with rollouts so far limited to pilot projects. Analysts expect the industry to monetize the service by offering mobile healthcare monitoring products, services and solutions to care delivery organizations.

"Consumer mobile applications and services are no longer the prerogative of mobile carriers," said Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, during the company's annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo conference in Sydney, Australia. "The increasing consumer interest in smart phones, the participation of Internet players in the mobile space and the emergence of application stores and cross-industry services are reducing the dominance of mobile carriers. Each player will influence how the application is delivered and experienced by consumers, who ultimately vote with their attention and spending power."

"The ultimate competition between industry players is for control of the 'ecosystem' and user experience, and the owner of the ecosystem will benefit the most in terms of revenue and user loyalty," Jones added. "We predict that most users will use no more than five mobile applications at a time and most future opportunities will come from niche market 'killer applications.'"

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