Study Reports mHealth’s Potential, Barriers to Adoption | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology 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. 

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Personalized Medicine Awareness Low Among U.S. Adults, Survey Finds

Genetics and personalized medicine are not top of mind for the general public in the U.S., according to a recent survey from GenomeWeb and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Circulation, Buoy Health Collaborate on Integrated Platform for Patient Transportation

Boston-based startup Circulation Health, a ride-ordering exchange that coordinates medical transportation logistics using Lyft and other transportation partners, is partnering with Buoy Health, also based in Boston, to integrate their platforms to provide patients with an end-to-end healthcare experience.

HITRUST Provides NIST Cybersecurity Framework Certification

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), security and privacy standards development and accreditation organization, announced this week a certification program for the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (Framework).