mHealth Opportunities for MNOs Arising from Digital Transition
2015.12.28   |   34 pages   |   Innovation

Author:
Pippa Walton


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mHealth, the provision of health services using mobile communications, is profoundly changing the way healthcare is being delivered.  From smartphones used as medical devices to a simple text message campaign to promote healthy eating, from streamlining the administration of hospitals and health practices to providing remote monitoring and diagnostics, mobile technology is being developed for many aspects of healthcare. 

In addition, consumers have shown their enthusiasm for health and fitness apps. There has been a marked growth in their use in the past five years, promulgated by the increasing sophistication of smartphones, and the availability of an ever-greater number of wearable devices such as smart watches and fitness bands. 

This rise in interest in mHealth and other digital health approaches comes at a time when the demand for and the cost of healthcare is rising rapidly throughout the world, and as the cost of mobile devices and services are falling.  The need to adopt technology to help meet these challenges seems obvious, but the healthcare industry lags behind many others in exploiting mobile technology for its service users because of concerns over privacy, security, data protection, training, and proof of efficacy.  Few health and fitness apps are recommended by the medical profession, and many have yet to be proven to be efficient or useful in boosting the quality of people’s health.  And for medical interventions such as monitoring and diagnostics, there have been few large scale or long-term trials to provide firm evidence that they do indeed improve healthcare or cut costs.

This report provides an overview of the current state of the mHealth industry, of the stakeholders involved and the areas in which mobility can play a part.  It looks at examples of initiatives that mobile operators are involved in, and highlights areas of opportunity.  It concludes with recommendations for operators that are considering their strategies in the mHealth arena.

Companies: AT&T, Telefonica, Orange, Dario

Countries: UK, France, USA

Keywords: electronic health records, mPrescribing, diabetes management, mHealth, developing economies, healthcare, proof of efficacy, digital health, remote monitoring, wearables, data protection, mobile baby, Apple ResearchKit, ageing populations, health and fitness apps, consumer apps, Apple HealthKit,

1

Overview

1

2

Introduction

2

2.1

Background to the Report

2

2.2

Report Content

3

2.3

Currency and Conversions

3

2.4

Further Questions and Feedback

4

3

The mHealth Opportunity

5

3.1

Developments in Connected Health

5

3.1.1

Overall Potential Market

5

3.1.2

Developing Economies

6

3.1.3

Big Data

7

3.1.4

Types of Application

7

3.1.4.1

Diabetes Management

10

3.1.4.2

Mobile-baby

11

3.1.5

Wearables

12

3.2

Market Players and the Role of the Mobile Operator

13

3.2.1

New Entrants to the Market

16

3.3

Patients and Consumers

17

3.4

Connected Healthcare Providers

18

3.5

Inhibitors to Uptake of Mobile Healthcare

20

3.5.1

Lack of Regulation or Proof of Efficacy

21

3.5.2

Lack of Staff Engagement

22

3.5.3

Consistent Connection

22

3.5.4

Low Energy Requirements

23

3.5.5

Lack of Standards for Privacy and Security

23

3.5.6

Cost-effectiveness

23

3.5.7

Interoperability

23

4

MNO Offerings

24

4.1

Introduction

24

4.2

AT&T

24

4.3

Orange

26

4.4

Telefónica

27

4.4.1

Digital Hospital

28

4.4.2

Remote Patient Monitoring

28

4.4.3

Selfcare and Connected Care

29

4.4.4

Announcements

29

5

Key Findings

31

6

Recommendations

33

 

Appendix – Feedback Questions

35

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