We tuned in to Deloitte Health’s Dbriefs Health Sciences series webcast, “Opportunities and Challenges in mHealth” to learn about what’s going on in the mobile healthcare space in terms of unmet market needs, current technological capabilities, and industry adoption. We heard from industry experts Harry Greenspun, MD, Senior Advisor, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Deloitte LLP, Quinn Solomon, Health Care Lead, Deloitte Digital, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Craig Wigginton, Vice Chairman & U.S. Telecommunications Sector Leader, Deloitte & Touche LLP. They discussed the current state of mobile healthcare and the opportunities and challenges present in mHealth that exist for health care providers, medical device companies, medical app developers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance providers, the public, and the government.
One reason to get excited about the business opportunities that lie in mHealth is that Deloitte Health reports that the health care and life sciences sector is recognized as one of the top three fields (along with consumer products and the financial services industry) likely to experience new mobile business model growth in the next five years, according to the Deloitte Open Mobile Survey 2012.
According to Deloitte Health, “mHealth holds promise for improvement along the value chain – maximizing professionals’ time and productivity, improving quality, increasing access and equity, stimulating greater consumer involvement, and potentially decreasing costs, or perhaps equally as importantly, getting better value for the money invested.”
PW Insight: Patient support communities are huge! The internet and social media has helped to change the patient experience for the better by providing healthcare news and information, patient education and a resource for patients to know that they are not alone. Understanding patient support communities is crucial for understanding today’s patient – healthcare providers, medical device companies, pharma companies, and other health and wellness organizations need to understand the role that patient support communities play in the patient decision-making process, and need to incorporate this knowledge into their marketing strategies. If you would like, read more about The Empowered Patient to understand how patient support communities have changed today’s patient.
PW Insight: Here’s another important aspect for medical marketers. Gathering data from social media and mobile use can help companies to better understand the demographics, behaviors, needs, wants, likes and dislikes of their target market. Are you taking full advantage of the latest technological capabilities in order to best serve your target market? If you aren’t, you could be missing out on untapped opportunities and wasting resources.
3 Key Trends in Mobile Health
PW Insight: The question here for healthcare companies is how you can use technology, in particular mobile apps, to better the patient experience. Mobile apps can be used to help patients with medication adherence, to motivate them to take care of their health, for health care monitoring, etc., there are many possibilities. Medical companies need to evaluate how they can best serve their patients and what technology will provide the most value for both the consumers they serve as well as the value for the company and its stakeholders.
What’s the Greatest Opportunity that Lies in mHealth?
PW Insight: There is an opportunity for medical companies to take advantage of the mobile health market with such growth predicted for medical monitoring.
How Can the Industry Monetize mHealth?
PW Insight: Health and medical companies must not forget that not every app has to be consumer facing. Although the majority of apps are currently directed toward the patient experience, there is also an opportunity to provide apps that help facilitate business processes and create better efficiences that lead to more profitable, leaner businesses.
PW Insight: With the rise of the Empowered Patient, supported by an increased focus on patients’ needs and desires due to the changing healthcare economy, understanding how to reach today’s patients is more important than ever for health, medical and wellness companies. If the patient is in power, then the question becomes, “how do best satisfy patient needs?” In today’s digitally dominant world, with people moving increasingly into the mobile space, healthcare companies are forced to focus attention on how to reach and support patients in the mobile space.
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