Mobile Health: A Revolution in Self-Care

Published 06/12/2012

Author: Nicholas Hall Reports

Smartphones are an increasingly intrinsic part of consumers lives, and mobile health is becoming a vibrant area of healthcare. It represents a new tool in the established areas of health monitoring – a key aspect of mHealth – and consumer engagement.

Key players in the healthcare and technology industries are pursuing avenues to utilise mobile devices as a health tool. The phenomenal growth of applications focused on recording fitness data illustrates the willingness of consumers to digitise their life with the aim of producing more positive outcomes. This is an area that is ripe for exploration in the wider field of health and companies are already exploring ways of encouraging consumers to keep track of health data such as blood sugar levels and heart rate.

As consumers become more knowledgeable about their own health by monitoring it themselves, there are positive implications for the OTC industry:

  • Consumers are empowered to make a greater number of decisions without the direct input of a healthcare professional
  • Increased monitoring could lead to a rise in switch activity, for instance, statins could be switched if tracking cholesterol levels at home becomes the norm
  • Data inputted by users presents a treasure trove of research information

OTC companies also need to consider the other implications of consumers being permanently attached to their mobile devices. Marketers need to adapt to this new method of connecting at both a practical level (e.g. websites that can easily be displayed on a small screen) and philosophical level (e.g. how it changes consumers’ buying patterns). OTC marketers are increasingly seeing the advantages of mobile phones as an advertising vehicle, launching apps in support of their brand and investing in mobile internet display ads.

Through consideration of developments already in progress and looking to future possibilities, this report will investigate the opportunities that mobile health offers to the healthcare industry.

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