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Annual mHealth App Downloads to Reach 142 Million by 2016

Annual worldwide downloads of mHealth apps will be 44 million next year and reach 142 million by 2016, predicts a report released earlier this week by UK-based Juniper Reports.
 
The firm says that growth in mHealth app downloads will be driven by expanded hardware capabilities that will allow smartphones to “become an important portable accessory to the health care establishment for both diagnosis and relaying medical data to health care staff.”
 
The report also predicts that clarification from the FDA on how it will regulate mHealth apps will add momentum to the market for the apps and that remote patient monitoring made possible by the apps will save money through shortened hospital stays and reduced need for outpatient appointments. It also notes that the structure of the health care industry and insurance coverage in the US has given it a lead over other developed economies when it comes to remote patient monitoring.

Further Reading
What better way to pay for school than to create an innovative health-related mobile application? An ongoing contest sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering offers students pursuing degrees in health, engineering, and computer science the opportunity to do just that—and is offering a top prize of $10,000.
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As the year comes to a close, one cannot help but reflect on the astounding technological advancements made in 2011, particularly since such progress has greatly benefited the medical industry.
The mHealth Regulatory Coalition and the Health Information & Management Systems Society have each recently submitted comments to the FDA regarding proposed regulations for mobile medical applications.
Over the past few years there has been an increasing amount of mobile technologies that enhance the ability to access public health information and improve the delivery of health services to the public at large, as well as to health care professionals. The ubiquity of cell phones makes SMS text messaging the natural platform to deliver these interventions.
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