Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study Reports mHealth’s Potential, Barriers to Adoption

June 7, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

According to a new study from the New York City-based PwC's Global Healthcare division by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), widespread adoption of mobile health technology (mHealth) will be inevitable in both developed and emerging markets around the world with the total industry estimated a worth of nearly $23 billion by 2017. The study, Emerging mHealth: paths for growth, says the pace of adoption will likely be led by emerging markets and lag consumer demand.

Authors from the report say the promise of mHealth is realized by consumers, but its use of mHealth and speed of adoption will be determined in each country by stakeholders’ who shape the structure healthcare industry.

"Despite demand and the obvious potential benefits of mHealth, rapid adoption is not yet occurring. The main barriers are not the technology but rather systemic to healthcare and inherent resistance to change,” David Levy, MD, global healthcare leader of PwC said in a statement. 

He says while many view mHealth as ancillary or bolted on to the healthcare industry, PwC looks it as the future. According to the study, roughly one-half of consumers predict that within the next three years, mHealth will improve the convenience (46 percent), cost (52 percent) and quality (48 percent) of their healthcare.

Interestingly, 59 percent of emerging market patients use at least one mHealth application or service, compared with 35 percent in the developed world. Nearly half of consumers said they expect mHealth will change the way they manage chronic conditions (48 percent), their medication (48 percent) and their overall health (49 percent). 

Nearly 60 percent of consumers expect mHealth to change the way they seek information on health issues and 48 percent expect it to change the way they communicate with physicians. Among consumers who already are using mHealth services, 59 percent said they have replaced some visits to doctors or nurses. 

Sixty percent of consumers said they believe doctors are not as interested in mHealth as patients and technology companies are. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of doctors and payers said that mHealth offers exciting possibilities but there are too few proven business models. Only 27 percent of physicians encourage patients to use mHealth applications to become more active in managing their health, and 13 percent of physicians actually discourage it.

The report includes findings of two surveys conducted by the EIU:  one of consumers and one of physicians and government and private payers in 10 markets, including Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, India, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US. 



ONC National Coordinator Gets Live Look at Carequality Data Exchange

Officials from Carequality have stated that there are now more than 150,000 clinicians across 11,000 clinics and 500 hospitals live on its network. These participants are also able to share health data records with one another, regardless of technology vendor.

American Red Cross, Teladoc to Provide Telehealth Services to Disaster Victims

The American Red Cross announced a partnership with Teladoc to deliver remote medical care to communities in the United States that are significantly affected by disasters.

Report: The Business of Cybercrime in Healthcare is Growing

While stolen financial data still has a higher market value than stolen medical records, as financial data can be monetized faster, there are indications that there is ongoing development of a market for stolen medical data, according to an Intel Security McAfee Labs report.

Phishing Attack at Baystate Health Potentially Exposes Data of 13K Patients

A phishing scam at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. has potentially exposed the personal data of 13,000 patients, according to a privacy statement from the patient care organization and a report from MassLive.

New Use Cases Driving Growth in Health Data Exchange through Direct

In an update, DirectTrust reported significant growth in Direct exchange of health information and the number of trusted Direct addressed enabled to share personal health information (PHI) in the third quarter of 2016.

Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.