Mobile Health Opportunity

Mobile health, or ‘mHealth’, represents a tremendous opportunity for technology innovators. In 2015, the global mHealth market was valued at ~$13.7bn, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34% during the next five years reaching ~$58bn by 2020 [3]. The factors driving mHealth’s growth are (1) pressure to reduce healthcare costs, (2) increasing demand for

consumer-centric health solutions, and (3) increasing prevalence of chronic and lifestyle related diseases. According to industry sources, mHealth technology could save ~$340bn in annual health care costs worldwide [4].

How can technology innovators turn this opportunity into reality? Which adoption barriers can be overcome through technology? How can we leverage the data from sensors and devices to create meaningful mobile health experiences?

A definition of small data and big data

According to Gartner, big data refers to “high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insights, decision making, and process automation”. In health care, the definition of big data refers to data that capture information about a large population such as personal health records (PHRs) and electronic health records (EHRs). The types of questions commonly asked address population level patterns and insights.

The term small data refers to information that describes the digital trace of an individual. Its analysis relates to the n=1 or n=me notion, answering questions that pertain to the analysis of patterns and insight at an individual level involving a variety of data sources from sensors, devices, and IoT.

1. GSMA Intelligence 2016, Definite data and analysis for the mobile industry, n.d. 6 April, 2016.

2. GSMA, The Mobile Economy, 2016, n.d. 6 April, 2016.

3. MarketWatch, Global mHealth Market Expected to Grow at 34% CAGR during 2016-2022: by P&S Market Research, 14 March, 2016. 6 April, 2016M

4. PR Newswire, The mHealth (Mobile Healthcare) Ecosystem: 2015-2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts, 10, November, 2015. 6 April 2016