The medical apps market is estimated at $489 million in 2015, up from $85 million just five years ago, according to an mHealth Markets Worldwide report from Kalorama Information.
The mHealth apps market is expected to be a fast growing area and one with loyal customers, according to the report’s findings.
The medical app market will continue to grow at an even faster rate than the overall mobile app market. mHealth apps are projected to grow at an annual average rate of almost 28 percent through 2020, reaching a market potential of about $1.7 billion, according to the Kalorama report. This is compared with the total app market potential of about $61.4 billion in 2020, growing at a rate of almost 20 percent over the same period.
The report indicates that growth for medical apps is estimated at 41.9 percent compounded annually over the past five years, while the growth for all apps combined is at 38.1 percent.
“In terms of revenue, medical apps have grown a tad bit faster than other app categories,” Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information, said in a statement. “Price and a willing user base are factors.”
The report indicates that ownership trends among healthcare workers are a driver in mHealth sales. Over five years ago, around 25 percent of practicing physicians in the U.S. used a PDA or smartphone for professional and other uses. This increased to approximately 35 to 40 percent in 2008. By 2010, more than half of physicians used smartphones or PDAs on a regular basis for everyday treatment activity. Today, upwards of 70 percent of physicians and medical workers use mobile medical apps on a regular basis. One of the most widely used medical apps for mobile devices is for patient records.
However, market share for medical apps remains low. In 2010, the medical apps market accounted for about 1.73 percent of the total mobile app market. Market share for medical apps compete with very large and popular app categories such as gaming, entertainment, social networking and navigation.
“They can't compete on downloads with entertainment apps, but medical apps can earn a larger price and build a loyal customer base that's invested in the product,” Carlson said.