165,000 apps, 3 bn downloads and counting: global mHealth apps study

click to enlargeThe results of the fifth annual mHealth App Economics survey are out. Our Readers were invited to participate back in March when it was sponsored by German research firm research2guidance in collaboration with mHealth Summit Europe and HIMSS and kicked off at the Riga meeting in May.

Major apps stores reported more than 165,000 mHealth apps published by 45,000 companies, and projected 3 billion downloads by close of 2015.  Some other key findings from R2G do surprise:

  • The target for apps is DTC–chronically ill patients–with their hospitals as #2. Physicians are important, but less so than last year’s survey.
  • App publishers aims appear altruistic. 53 percent of mHealth publishers claim that their main motivation is to help people improve their medical conditions. However, 60 percent aren’t reaching their goals yet mainly due to low reach. The vast majority of apps (62 percent) mark up less than 5,000 annual downloads. (See the chart below for some possible reasons why)
  • Diagnostic apps lead in anticipated business potential until 2020. And app publishers have added medical professionals to their team.
  • What app publishers find works to change behavior is not gamification. What does: integration of provider feedback or dialogue.
  • Yet providers, such as doctors and nurses, are seen as the most threatened group by mHealth solutions.
  • A scant 3 percent of mHealth publishers generate more than $1 million–and they are far more focused on sales and brand awareness than their brethren which make little. (chart)

click to enlarge

The over 5,000 participants of mHealth practitioners in the survey (double 2014) representing 10,000 mHealth apps were primarily European, with North America and APAC following (above). The free 35 page study, which also goes into app analytics, is available at the link here. Release/blog post.

TTA was a media partner of the 2015 Global mHealth App Developer Economics Study (see page 3 of the study). Many thanks to Markus Pohl of R2G.

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