It’s been suggested that the healthcare IT market in the U.S. will reach $40 billion by the end of 2011 and grow at an impressive 24% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the next several years.
The new projections are part of a new report published recently by RNCOS where it’s suggested the growth will be driven not only by healthcare reform and the implementation of eHealth systems, but also by a population that will demand, and increasingly be able to afford, quality services. While the report focused on healthcare IT in general, the most interesting data had to do with mobile technology within healthcare, or mHealth.
The report discussed the key role mobile will play in various areas of healthcare delivery, including education and awareness; remote data collection; remote monitoring; disease and epidemic outbreak tracking; and diagnostic and treatment support. The mobile health market has a year-over-year growth rate of around 17% since 2010 and is estimated to be worth $2.1 billion at the end of 2011, according to the research. The report also said the mobile health market is expected to grow with a CAGR of nearly 22% from 2012 to 2014. “The buzz surrounding mobile healthcare has steadily grown during the past two years. There’s no question that this area holds enormous potential in terms of improving patient care in the U.S.,” the report concludes.
Like all reports projecting the value and reach of mobile healthcare, the growth is attributed to the immense growth in smartphone usage. According to the report, at the end of 2009, smartphone penetration was around 21% and is expected to be 50% by the end of 2011. In addition, over 72% of physicians are smartphone users, and mobile health applications embedded in smartphones are a main reason for this increased usage. “There are over 10,000 applications related to mobile health of which around 40% are designed for healthcare professionals, which includes remote monitoring and healthcare management applications,” the report said. Even the Apple iTunes application store has about 6,000 mobile health applications.”