Mobile and digital health could be set to boom in the next three years, as a BCC Research report estimates that patients using a digital program will grow 700%.
The study showed that 7 million people have already used some type of digital health or linked program and with the growing number of connected devices via Internet of Things (IoT) it will reach 50 million patients by 2020.
The report suggested a few reasons for why mobile programs could be the future of eHealth, as more people accept the growing technological culture, even for the most important aspects of life, like their wellbeing.
Kevin Fitzgerald, BCC Research editorial director, believes the main issues of eHealth stem from a reliance on other industries to ensure their products are working to best help the patient.
“So many factors are supporting the growth in this area – from self-care and activity monitoring – to medical conditions, historical data and portability.”
“However, these devices rely on manufacturer ecosystems, wireless networks and even health policy matters like epidemic outbreaks or health trends,” he said.
With this in mind, the study warned that with such personal data being accessible online, data management security is a concern that many health organisations will need to quickly adapt to.
Globally, the eHealth industry has seen most of their income come from more affluent countries like North America, who generated one third of worldwide sales, around $4.7 billion in 2016 alone.
China as well, are doing extensive research on the eHealth market, and could soon be developing new systems to assist in diagnosis and treatment.
The growing eHealth industry falls in line with expectations of Australian citizens as well, as earlier in the year a HCF survey suggested that Australians are optimistic about the impact of AI in healthcare.
The fear for most though, is that the lack of human intervention may cause anxiety to some patients, and it has been a dilemma that Shane Larkin, Managing Director of HCF, has still not found the solution to.
“We are torn between the perceived positives and the potential limitations of removing the human element,” he explained.