Report: Remote Healthcare Imaging Drives Global mHealth Growth

Advancements in remote healthcare imaging drives global mhealth growth according to a new report from Strategy Analytics M2M Strategies service.

With the market for mobile health apps expected to reach $27B by 2017,  mhealth apps are quickly evolving to take advantage of new image support capabilities in mobile networks and devices.  According to a new report from Strategy Analytics M2M Strategies service, “Remote Healthcare Imaging Has Growth Potential in Both Developed and Developing Markets,”  remote healthcare imaging, availability of smartphones, and faster networks are key forces in driving the global mobile health market.

These applications range from mHealth image-based applications to remote interpretation of blood samples taken in a remote jungle clinic to sending fetal sonograms to the smartphones of friends and relatives.

Tom Elliott, Director of Emerging Markets at Strategy Analytics and the report’s author states,

 “Smartphones and tablets have improved so much as image capture and display devices that they permit remote diagnosis with accuracy rates that approach in-person examination,”

Innovation in remote diagnostics has seen significant growth over the past few years solving some of the issues surrounding physician shortages and poor distribution channels in developing countries. In Egypt, for example, a partnership of Qualcomm, Mobinil, Click Diagnostics and the Ministry of Health allowed remote health clinics to send smartphone-captured images of skin conditions for diagnosis, by some of the country’s few dermatologists. In late 2011, for example, MIM Software received FDA 510(k) clearance for the use of its iOS viewing application for diagnostic x-ray and ultrasound viewing.

Telehealth solutions involving videoconferencing  are taking advantage of smartphones, high bandwidth networks, and improved image handling software to provide a richer clinical interaction between patients and practitioners.  Management of the increasing volume of clinical imaging data now relies on wireless providers such as AT&T, whose cloud-based image access and management service supports service delivery over multiple platforms and wide geographic areas.

Global mobile health adoption also comes with increased security & compliance implications that can potentially place an extra burden of security on provider organizations supporting BYOD (bring your own device).

Andrew Brown, Executive Director of Enterprise Research at Strategy Analytics states,

“In an environment where BYOD (bring your own device) is more and more common, health care organizations need to be especially vigilant to safeguard patient confidentiality while reaping the benefits of remote image access on multiple platforms. Ensuring regulatory compliance in healthcare remains critical.”

Visit Strategy Analytics  for more information about this report.

Image credit: juhansonin via cc

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