Top 5 Predictions for Mobile Health in 2017

Predictions ImageWith lots of unknowns in healthcare and government, this year is going to be interesting. Based on what we’ve been seeing and experiencing at Glooko, we think the following five are the big trends for mobile health in 2017.

More people than ever will use mHealth for chronic disease management

Our user growth in 2016 was like a hockey stick. As the year went on, our user acquisition skyrocketed. In our conversations with other players, they saw a similar phenomenon. More and more health systems are providing or recommending mobile apps for their patients for everything from prescription refills, to data sharing and advice – this will only grow faster in 2017.

Apps will get smarter

We spent most of 2016 developing intelligent solutions based on the data our users put into Glooko. Developing algorithms that deliver insights can be hard – but the payoff big. Our upcoming release will let users know what day of the week and time of day are their best and their worst and it will point them immediately to improvement opportunities. In 2017, like Glooko, we predict most of the mHealth apps will go beyond data capture or tracking to insights and recommendations based on that data.

Major payers will start to pay for remote patient monitoring to bring down costs

Really? We think so. A recent poster we presented at the Diabetes Technology Society conference showed a direct relationship between our mobile health users and an improvement in average blood glucose levels and estimated A1C. In addition, our users increase their blood glucose test rate, which has also shown to correlate with overall improvement. These kinds of improvements are not only good for the patient’s health, but they can lower costs for payers because they can directly impact a decrease in expensive acute situations. We predict in 2017 more and more payers will figure this out and start to “cover” mHealth.

Community and Coaches will play a big role

The amazing thing about mobile technology is that it facilitates community. In 2017 the community will continue to be critical to helping individuals with chronic diseases learn more, get support  and share.  But in 2017 coaches will also play a big role. When we spoke to health systems in the past, they weren’t set-up for remote support. However, more and more over the last year health systems have hired small groups of nurses, dieticians and pharmacists who are available via phone to provide real coaching in-between visits. Their goal is to help people with chronic diseases get their questions answered and the support they need without having to come in. This will continue in 2017 and beyond.

There will be more consolidation and new comers

Developing a great Mobile Health application is expensive – period. It takes a lot of people, effort, focus and capital. In 2016 we saw the start of consolidation in the space. Whether through partnerships, mergers or acquisitions there are a lot of us out there working on this problem and we believe in 2017 more of us will come together to pool our resources, capital and data to continue to deliver world class mHealth software. At the same time, we also think that because adoption is on the rise, there will be new players to keep us all on our toes!

 

Here’s to 2017! What do you think will happen?

Robin Beadle