Research firm Frost & Sullivan has listed mHealth as the top area of growth for the global healthcare market in 2014 as beyond, as indicated by a survey involving 1,835 executives in more than 40 countries worldwide.
According to the '2013 Search for Growth' survey, mHealth, cloud computing, and regulatory environments will be the key subjects in 2014 and beyond. mHealth expansion has been fuelled by the unprecedented spread of mobile technologies, as well as advancements in their innovative application to address health priorities. It is largely supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices. The penetration prospects of mHealth technologies are significant in the following areas: wireless vital signs monitoring, location-aware telemonitoring systems, and Bluetooth wireless technology-enabled health trackers, the company said in a press release.
Additionally, as more healthcare IT and patient monitoring tools are integrated, every hospital facility will eventually have to acquire a fully-enterprise wireless solution. The most innovative mobile healthcare solutions that best meet pressing healthcare needs will be adopted as the gold standard, said Frost & Sullivan.
Enterprise-wide healthcare informatics will also improve the quality of medical services and efficiency of operations while reducing expenditures. Cloud computing is considered to be a key enabler for enterprise-wide solutions. Implementing cloud computing technologies appropriately will help healthcare providers improve the quality of medical services and the efficiency of operations, share information across geographic locations, and manage expenditures. The concept can be applied in a variety of ways, including data storage and data loss prevention, maintaining patient information records, and authorized sharing of information, according to the company's research.
As for regulatory environment, researchers said that recent healthcare reforms and policy initiatives across many countries have emphasized the importance of quality of care more than quantity. In the absence of a sufficient proof of clinical benefit, reimbursements may pose a major hurdle.
All in all, three big predictions may be formulated based on the survey's results:
- As healthcare is geared towards a personalized medicine model, companion diagnostics will alter drug development and the commercialization process of drug candidates. Combining biomarkers and drugs will result in enhanced therapeutic efficacy and safety.
- The healthcare and life sciences industry will consolidate further in this decade, with many big pharma companies seeking alternatives to the blockbuster model.
- The rise of new technologies capable of integrating medical devices into a connected platform will enhance the functionality of devices, reduce the manpower burden and minimize errors.