M-health worth USD23bn by 2017
MOBILEBy BiztechAfrica - Feb. 15, 2012, 11:22 a.m.
Mobile health services could be worth USD1.2 billion in Africa alone within the next five years, but governments and stakeholders need to work together to maximize its potential, says a new report.
The GSMA says in a new report, 'Touching Lives through Mobile Health: Assessment of the Global Market Opportunity', that the mHealth market presents a revenue opportunity worth USD23 billion by 2017.
Europe would become the largest mHealth region by 2017 with revenues of US$6.9 billion. Asia Pacific would be the second-largest region with revenues of USD6.8 billion, North America could account for USD6.5 billion, Latin America USD1.6 billion and Africa USD1.2 billion.
The report suggests that in spite of the advancements in medical technologies and a general increase in income levels, healthcare continues to pose challenges of affordability, complexity and access across the world. In contrast, mobile access is almost ubiquitous. With the increasing penetration of smartphones and new and innovative 'connected devices', and the proliferation of Mobile Broadband networks and services worldwide, mobile will play a far greater role in healthcare in both developed and developing countries in the future.
"By 2017, mobile technology will be a key enabler of healthcare delivery reaching every corner of the globe," said Jeanine Vos, Executive Director, mHealth at the GSMA. "With developed countries needing to reduce the cost of universal healthcare, and developing countries looking to roll out life-saving services to in-need communities, mobile technology offers the ability to deliver highly effective, scalable and affordable healthcare beyond the confines of a hospital or doctor's surgery."
In terms of the market opportunity, the research found that the provision of pervasive mHealth services and applications worldwide could provide mobile operators with revenues worth approximately US$11.5 billion by 2017. Device vendors could benefit from a revenue opportunity of US$6.6 billion, content and application providers US$2.6 billion, and healthcare providers US$2.4 billion by 2017.
Europe would become the largest mHealth region by 2017 with revenues of US$6.9 billion. Asia Pacific would be the second-largest region with revenues of US$6.8 billion, North America could account for US$6.5 billion, Latin America US$1.6 billion and Africa US$1.2 billion. In terms of individual countries, the United States could benefit from revenues of US$5.9 billion, accounting for a quarter of the global mHealth market by 2017, and revenues in China and Japan could reach US$2.5 billion and US$1.4 billion respectively.
To enable this opportunity, however, governments, regulators and healthcare providers need to work with mobile operators and organisations in the broader mHealth ecosystem, including device vendors and content and application players, to support the roll-out and adoption of new mHealth services. This includes several key factors:
- Government support: Only when Governments worldwide embrace constructive policy agendas for mHealth, will the market start to achieve its potential and scale rapidly. Governments should take steps to adopt the concept of mHealth as an effective way to improve access to and affordability of healthcare. This includes encouraging the use of mHealth services by public healthcare providers and incentivising private providers to deliver mHealth services.
- Regulatory support: Regulators need to proactively address the issues that currently limit the growth of mHealth services, certification, interoperability and standardisation.
- Healthcare industry acceptance: Clear benefit studies from key players in the mHealth ecosystem, as well as government support, are vital to driving acceptance in the medical profession.
- User adoption: Widespread user adoption will help drive the exponential growth and market opportunity for mHealth. This will be supported by recommendations from medical professionals, overall service affordability and widespread availability of content and devices.
"There's no doubt that collaboration is critical. Leading carriers, device manufacturers, health plans and providers all need to come together to help transform mHealth from a niche play into widescale implementation as a standard of care," said Eleanor Chye, Executive Director, Mobility Healthcare and Pharma, Mobility Product Management, AT&T Business Solutions. "All of us have to step up and adopt these solutions and drive them into the care delivery system. It's going to take adoption on the patient side and integration on the delivery side."
Monitoring services, such as those for chronic disease management, will account for 65% of the market (USD15 billion) by 2017. One example is T-Mobile's CardioMessenger Service that offers remote cardiac monitoring for patients in Germany.
Diagnosis services will be the second-largest segment, comprising 15 per cent of the global mHealth market (USD.4 billion). This includes mobile telemedicine and health call centres that allow those in isolated areas to connect with healthcare professionals, such as the Telenor Teledoctor service in Pakistan, which offers 24/7 access to qualified physicians.
Treatment services will be the third-largest revenue opportunity at 10% of the overall market (USD2.3 billion). Current examples include services that ensure patients adhere to treatment schedules, such as Vitality Glow Caps that remind users via SMS and through calls that they should take their medication.
Vos added: "This report not only highlights the revenue opportunity mHealth will provide, but crucially, it also proves the feasibility of mobile services supporting healthcare is greater than ever before. mHealth is not only here to stay, but is expected to drive major changes in the delivery of healthcare worldwide.
"However, it is critical that governments and regulators the world over, as well as the healthcare profession, embrace this opportunity and work with the mobile industry to ensure that it is fully realised."
For more information on the GSMA's mHealth programme and to view the report, please visit: http://www.gsma.com/mobile-health.
MORE MOBILE NEWS
Orange launches loyalty programme for virtual service retailers.Integrated telecommunications service provider Orange has launched a Loyalty Programme for its electronic top-up service retailers. Read More
Mobile roaming: 8% of global operator billed service revenues by 2018A new report from Juniper Research has valued operator revenues generated from mobile roaming at nearly $90 billion by 2018, compared to $57 billion this year. Read More
MTN Ghana warns against SMS fraudMTN Ghana says it remains committed to working in partnership with all stakeholders to eliminate the problem of promotional scams originating from foreign and local numbers. Read More
Samsung Unveils GALAXY S5, designed for what matters mostSamsung Electronics announced the fifth generation of the GALAXY S series, the Galaxy S5, designed for what matters most to consumers. Read More
TNM launches new airtime credit facilityTelekom Networks Malawi (TNM) will next month launch an airtime credit facility product called “TNM Pasavute”. Read More
MTN SA expands LTE footprint to PEMTN has reaffirmed its technology leadership by extending the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to Port Elizabeth. Read More
MWC: Big Trust emerges as key issueAt Mobile World Congress, strategies for earning trust can be seen everywhere as the telecoms industry realises that to successfully monetize of subscribers’ big data they need to first earn far greater trust from them, says Ovum. Read More
Econet supports Tokwe-Mukosi flood aid driveEconet Wireless has joined the government, aid agencies and other concerned partners to send humanitarian aid to thousands of distressed people that have been affected by the flooding at Tokwe-Mukosi dam. Read More
Safaricom marathon 2014 registration openThe 15th Edition of the Safaricom marathon will take place this year on the 28th June 2014 at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Read More
Tigo pioneers mobile money transfer with currency conversionTigo has launched what it describes as a world first mobile money transfer service between Rwanda and Tanzania. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.