We’ve seen a proliferation of mobile health platforms–apps, small devices, or small hardware add-ons to smartphones that function as diagnostic or monitoring tools. There are phone attachments to detect cervical cancer, handheld devices to diagnose malaria, and platforms to manage chronic illness like Alzheimers. MIT even has a whole lab devoted to DIY health technologies.
A report from San Francisco-based research and consulting firm Grand Vision Strategy is predicting that the sector will grow to a global market of $49 billion by 2020.
Many developing countries are leapfrogging personal computers and telephones wires altogether, straight to mobile phones and 3G/4G networks. That means smartphones are particularly compelling platforms for increasing providing medical services at an affordable rate in areas lacking access.
According to the report, managing chronic diseases is currently the primary use case for mobile health platforms. This is mainly seen in North America and Europe. In contrast, mobile health platforms are primarily used for diagnosis in developing countries. As demand in those countries grows, the market for mobile-based diagnosis platforms is expected to rapidly grow. Ultimately, diagnosis will make up the bulk of the $49 billion market share, according to Grand View Strategies.