It’s official! mHealth in the ‘trough of disillusionment’

Gartner annually issues its Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies in the Dog Days of August, perhaps not to burst too many bubbles, derail too many fundings?

  • Lo and behold, ‘mobile health monitoring ‘ is heading towards the bottom of the Trough of Disillusionment. Moreover, its recovery is projected at 5-10 years to move out of the Trough, whip through the Slope of Enlightenment and enter the sunny uplands of the Plateau of Productivity. See Gartner chart below.
    • Our readers knew, from their own and our observations, that mHealth hit the top of the Peak of Inflated Expectations over four years ago [TTA 29 June 2010, 22 Apr 2011]. In January, we predicted that 2014 would be ‘the year of reckoning’ for mHealth and its fellow travelers.
  • Another Trough resident: the rip-out-your-hair-and-run-screaming buzz word ‘gamification’, sitting earlier on the curve–and hopefully RIP.
  • Innovation Trigger (the first stage, where there’s nowhere to go but up) contains two surprises:  ‘smart robots‘ (like JIBO?) and ‘connected home‘. Consider that at least some telecare has transferred itself to and climbing that very early stage [TTA 28 Aug]. (And where is telecare or remote sensor monitoring?)
  • 3D printing (enterprise and scanners) has whipped past everything and ascending the Slope of Enlightenment. The consumer version…past the Peak and heading to the Trough.

Gartner release and chart; Mobihealthnews has more detail not on the chart such as a deeper digital health analysis, noting Trough denizens ‘home health monitoring’ (five years!), ‘PHRs’, ‘care coordination apps’ and ‘health insurance marketplaces’, with ‘patient self-service kiosks’, ‘online consumer health education and advice’ climbing out of it.


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2013 for comparison

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  1. OK…I see some of these points but still feel a bit uncomfortable with these projections. Perhaps it’s partly because the “rate” of innovation” seems fixed for the wide variety of technologies and devices. I’m not sure that this is the case. Breakthrough innovations can yield rapid acceleration and adoption. So, I find Gartner’s chart very interesting–I still wonder if it’s a bit out of touch…

    • Donna Cusano

      Your example of rapid adoption is 3D scanners–from Trigger in 2013 chart (just added) zipping through the curves right to Enlightenment (and well up the curve). Mobile Robots (2013) became Smart Robots (2014) and moved down on the Trigger slope. And what in blue blazes was Smart Dust?

      I treat these all as indicative, broad-brush, good guesses that comes out at a normally slow news time, gets us talking and gets quoted a lot in the fall. Note also Gartner uses a lot of blue dots…there’s safety in saying 5-10 years to Plateau. But it’s been very accurate in the slowness of the blush removal/buzz reduction of mobile health monitoring.

  2. Hayman

    Think this is a bit stale analysis! And why no gradations on the x-axis? It may be nice to throw up on a powerpoint for enterprise sales, but not sure about real-world. NFC in trough of disillusionment! Guess they will soon find out on Sep 9!