A new 2-year study of the most popular health and fitness apps by ABI Research reveals very little continuity in the popularity of specific mHealth applications. App popularity is split between a wide range of players and functionality and the market is ripe for transformation with powerful new entrants joining the space.
mHealth apps quickly became a popular category for smartphone and tablet consumers. The study examines the two mHealth app categories—health, and fitness and medical—across both iOS and Android’s U.S. storefronts.
The development of the market provides key learnings. “In both categories there has been a good deal of variation between the most popular apps—from quarter-to-quarter and between iOS and Android,” says Jonathan Collins, Principal Analyst. “There is, however, some broad consensus around the types of applications that are popular and an increasing drive to integrate data collected from wearable wireless devices into an ecosystem of multiple players.”
Primarily, mHealth apps are tracking activity, or helping to manage an individual’s general health.However, within the medical category in particular, there is increasing interest in applications that provide both medical information and connections to medical services.Epocrates and MyChart, both offered by leading electronic health record companies, have emerged as popular applications, and unusually, across both platforms.
Apple, Google, and Samsung have all recently set out their separate mHealth platforms to bring app collected data into the world of healthcare services. Those platforms will bring far greater scale to mHealth app data collection which in turn will drive far wider data integration into a range of applications, including healthcare services.
Existing app and wearable device players are faced with keeping users data within their control or allowing data exchange with these emerging platforms, some of which come from device player rivals. “Device and application vendors will increasingly need to leverage their experience and customer base in the transition to a new world of integration. The seeds and the foundations for that change and the direction they should take can be seen in the development of the mHealth apps market over the past 2 years,” adds Collins.
The ABI research report, mHealth Applications: Developments, Trends and Directions, looks at the key application segments, areas and offerings within the mHealth market place and provides insight into the emerging trends in the market. The report is part of ABI Research’s mHealth Wearables, Platforms and Services Market Research.
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