Mobile health or MHealth is one of the most promising trends in the mobile devices’ development. It is expected, the digital health market will grow over $200 billion by 2020 with MHealth applications’ revenue share up to $46 billion. Today, these apps are doing a huge part of a job from fitness trackers to cancer risk prediction. Still, many niches related to medical mobile services remain unfulfilled.

Some statistics and predictions

Widespread smartphones explain the popularity of mHealth applications. We take our gadgets everywhere and connect them to wearable devices that help in remote monitoring and chronic conditions tracking. Almost half of the adult Americans agreed, the main reason they would like to have a mobile health service is the ability to use it whenever they need. According to Statista, the number of mHealth apps users has grown from 15 million in 2013 to 96 million in 2018. Also, this figure will increase up to 41% during the next two years. Which mHealth categories will be the most popular in the next few years?

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MHealth apps development requires serious audience research. An application for a hospital is much different from an application for the individual user, age should be counted too. According to statistics, 77% of users in the US aged 18 to 29 are interested in medical mobile services as well as 68% people from 30 to 49. What users want from their mHealth apps?

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What users want from their mHealth apps?

On which trends and directions we should pay attention?

1. AI There is a wide spectrum of AI-based mHealth applications from reminders about medicines, virtual nursing assistants to disease identifiers. Potentially, using AI in healthcare can save the US economy up to $150 billion and for the global market much more. AI-based apps are the perfect way to personalize customers’ care and a good tool for finding the best treatment methods for each patient. As an example, Watson for Oncology is an application that now is testing by IBM. It is expected, the app will guarantee cancer care for every patient. Experts from Manipal Hospitals have already confirmed that application makes correct diagnoses in 90% of breast cancer cases. Also, there's agreement between doctors and the app in 96% for lung, 81% for colon and 93% for rectal cancer cases. The completed application will help doctors to save time on diagnostics and focus on delivering care. 2. Wearables Notable growing is predicted for wearable technologies. According to Statista, there will be over 900 million wearables in the world by 2021. Just take a look at these figures.

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Gathered by wearables information must be analyzed and offered to users in a convenient form. For example, BioPatch from Zephyr that collects medical data 24/7. The small device is attached to a person’s chest and with help of smartphones sends data to a doctor. It can reduce unnecessary visits to the hospital and can notify users about emergency situations. Also, mobile applications that use wearables for improving daily productivity becomes very popular. As an illustration, Daily Activities tracker made by Ralabs. With a set of plugins for AppleWatch, the application collects data about working and sleeping time, time spent at a gym or on different social activities. Based on this information, the system offers how exactly to increase daily productivity.

3. Protection Are you sure your application is secured? To guarantee your clients safety is extremely important. The right to medical security is protected by law in most countries. You should especially pay attention to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect on May 25, 2018. Some analysis of the new law can be found here. The official text of regulation can be read here. Which of modern technologies can guarantee good protection? For example, MORPHEO, AI mobile application for sleep medical diagnosis, has an information transfer system based on a blockchainMany medical applications are using this technology for highest privacy. 4. Application for hospitals Nearly 70 of 100 the biggest hospitals in the US are using mHealth applications. But only 11% of them can satisfy the patients with all necessary functions in one app. Also, the applications engaged just 2% of clinics’ patients. Practice shows these apps have a lot of drawbacks and poor customer experience. Thus, the modern market needs new platforms to satisfy new expectations.

State of Affairs in HU Hospital
Tamas Meszaros/Index Hospital in Budapest, patients’ appointments. New technologies can help to reduce a lot of inconveniences.

It is expected, request for hospital mobile application will grow. Statistically, users want an appointment manager, access to personal medical records, and the ability to make requests for prescriptions in one application. 5. New ideas Still, technologies cannot do everything in health care. There are many applications that help patients to get in touch with their doctors. The video chats are suitable for this purpose as best as possible. Patients reduce the stress from hospital visits but still under medical supervision. Your.MD application uses another interesting idea. Based on your geolocation, the app shows the nearest emergency care. Gamification is also becoming more popular. What is the gamification in mHealth? The applications encourage users to do their medical routines in the form of a game. Do you need to run every day? Great! What about running from zombies? The mobile application Zombies, Run! gives users some more motivation. Over one million people all over the world are now trying to save the planet from zombie apocalypse while doing their exercise at home, gym or outside.