Top 5 mHealth Predictions for 2016

2016 blogcrystal-ballAt Glooko we work with some of the top Health Systems in the US on their strategies for Remote Monitoring their diabetes patients. And in my role as VP of Marketing and Customer Success at Glooko, I get to see where these organizations are investing when it comes to mHealth and also get a Birdseye view of the market trends.  Based on this view, below are my Top 5 predictions for what will happen in mHealth in 2016!

1 – The Market for Connected Health will dramatically grow.  This is something pundits in the market are saying too. The mHealth market is projected to hit $117 billion by 2020 and 86% of clinicians believe mobile apps will be central to patient health in that time frame, according to the newly released “State of the App Economy,”report from ACT | The App Association. You can read more about this prediction in Fierce Mobile HealthCare here.

2 – mHealth will be used to track patients who are discharged from the hospital. In a large study of hospital utilization in five states, 30% of hospitalized patients with diabetes were readmitted within 1 year of discharge, accounting for 50% of all hospital stays among patients with diabetes. The in-patient cost of a person with diabetes was estimated at 2.3 times that of a patient without diabetes.  Post hospital discharge and ultimately readmission of half of those patients with diabetes is not only costly, but is also frustrating for people with diabetes, their families and care team. Research that used six years of data from nearly 3,000 acute-care hospitals suggests that it is the communication between caregivers and patients which has the largest impact on reducing readmission rates – mHealth enables just that.

3 – Consumers will start to demand mHealth. Nick Kurkjy, lead analyst on Lux’s June 2014 study, “mHealth Showdown: Consumer and Clinical Devices Battle for Market Dominance,” draws a clear distinction between consumer-facing devices like Fitbit and those designed for use in hospitals and clinics. “The mHealth space has been defined so far by consumer applications, but the clinical space is where mHealth devices and applications are going in the future,” Kurkjy says. With smartphone adoption at a global high, we’ve all got the tools in our pockets and this year, more than ever, we will demand that we can use them to help us get and stay healthy! Which leads me to my next prediction….

4 – Consumers will use data on their smartphone to make daily medical decisions. Most of us with smartphones already use them to help us decide what route to take on the road or which restaurant to go to. With the continued growth of healthcare oriented apps and the massive growth in healthcare related data collection, I believe that this year this data will be put to work by you and me. I know that just at Glooko, in 2016, we will deliver more and more features that provide real and specific insights, notifications and alerts that contain things like hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia trends, information about how an individual’s exercise and diet choices impact their health and even more specific insights about how insulin doses impact an individual’s glycemic control. All of this information can help an individual make all sorts of decisions – from what to order when at their favorite restaurant, to both how much and when to exercise, to how much insulin might get them the best result in a specific situation. Important daily medical decisions that mHealth can relevantly support.

5 – mHeath will get reimbursed. With the recent Chronic Care Management codes put into place, Medicare has started to pay for proactive remote care for chronic diseases. The way to make that care most efficient is to enable remote monitoring where a care team can track a patient’s “numbers” (e.g., blood glucose, heart rate, diet, exercise) and engage them to provide remote coaching. Doing this prevents clinical incidents and hospital visits. It also makes the lives of people with chronic diseases easier. mHealth makes it easy and effective for an individual to track this data. It’s also an inexpensive way to enable a person to really understand the impact of their lifestyle choices. For these reasons we believe that both Medicare and insurance companies will continue to expand their coverage of mHealth solutions.

This year will prove to be an exciting one for mHealth. Lots of growth and more impactful usage. We are pretty excited! Are you?

Robin Beadle