Apps are easy enough for us to download for our entertainment, but now they are being used for a variety of reasons within the healthcare sector. As technology adapts and progresses, the healthcare app market is also increasing, and is one that investors and innovators should watch closely as we kick start 2019, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.
Apps pertaining to one’s health serve a variety of purposes and range from supporting clinical depression to providing at-home health management. While some apps provide in-hospital clinical support, other apps provide assistance to developing countries that lack fundamental medical devices for patient care. The utilization of medical apps has become part of many daily routines, and there has been strong evidence in their reliability, according to GlobalData.
“Although these decision-support apps will be vital in the developed countries, the continuous innovations toward apps that provide medical device-like features are major drivers of the rise of the healthcare app market,” says Hanuel Park, medical devices analyst at GlobalData. “Apps that can provide routine healthcare services, in conjunction with an online physician, to regions of the world that lack healthcare facilities are going to push the market forward. Apps will provide medical services anywhere in the world with Wi-Fi.”
Specific apps, such as the ‘CardioSmart Heart Explorer App,’ have been effective in providing support for clinical decisions and have provided risk factor modification in patients with symptoms of angina. ‘My Studies App’ has provided healthcare regulatory decision makers with actual patient data.
‘Peek Vision,’ a vision assessment app, and ‘Triage,’ a dermatological assessment app, have also made a broad impact on the medical assessment world. This has mitigated the number of individuals that physically go in for an appointment and has helped progress diagnosing certain medical conditions via an app. With this, there are still a variety of challenges medical apps continue to face.
“The healthcare apps space faces many challenges including regulation, reliability and data security,” says Park. “However, wide arrays of healthcare services are being investigated to determine whether they could be made into an app, as a standalone medical feature or an app that will work in collaboration with an online physician. Furthermore, current trends show that many Venture Capitalists (VCs) and investors value the upfront costs of software companies minimal, in comparison to traditional device companies, who require dramatically higher R&D costs.”