According to the latest research from New York City-based Kalorama Information, the market for mobile medical apps was worth about $150 million in 2011, a number which will continue to grow quickly. The research, Market for Mobile Medical Apps, says medical apps compare favorably with app categories such as gaming, entertainment, social networking, and navigation.
Among the various types of apps for medical purposes are education, health management, data management, health information, and other workflow processes. The report says the medical community is not only using applications for basic work, but it’s using them to perform some of the work that would have previously been done on a desktop or laptop computer. The growing use of mobile devices and medical applications has prompted Food and Drug Administration oversight.
"The medical app market is growing at a faster rate than the standard app market," Melissa Elder, author of the report, said in a statement. "They are being heavily utilized by professionals and welcomed by healthcare organizations seeking to make workers more productive."
The medical app market is expected to outpace the double-digit growth of the overall app market. Although they make up just 1-2 percent of the entire market for mobile apps, Kalorama finds that healthcare apps will grow 25 percent annually over the next five years, compared to still-impressive 23 percent growth estimated for the standard apps market. The growing number of healthcare professionals utilizing these apps in everyday business activities is contributing to the market segment growing at a faster rate than some other categories of apps.
The report mentions that part of the revenue growth is being driven by prices rather than volume, according to the report. The high price tag for most medical apps (averaged at $15 per app) offsets the fact the number of downloads are lower than other categories -- keeping medical apps high growth-wise but on the lower end of total dollars earned in comparison to other app categories.