Mobile healthcare (mHealth) applications for the iPhone and Android – for tracking one’s fitness, prescriptions and doctors’ appointments – are expected to be the biggest medical technology trend in 2015. According to figures from the Google Play Store, diet tracking app MyFitnessPal was the most downloaded application under the health and fitness category in 2014. Runners-up included Google Fit, Apple’s Health app, and Microsoft Health. Capital funding has certainly reflected this trend, as Q1 2015 has seen dynamic movement in the mHealth segment. mHealth is also being embraced in a big way in the UK, with Cambridge corporate finance driving innovations in the segment.
The investment in mobile health technology has been steadily on the rise over the last few years, and has stood out from other technological investments — particularly as funding for other markets ebbs and flows. Communications and research firm Mercom Capital Group released a report on some of the financial activity surrounding healthcare technology over the course of 2015′s first quarter, and mobile health tech is again the outlier in terms of investment and growth.
The report — focusing mainly on mergers and acquisitions — showed that mobile health stood out where health information technology dipped in funding. Venture capital funding in the health IT and digital health sector dipped by about 35% to $784 million in 142 deals in Q1. That’s compared to $1.2 billion in 134 deals in Q4 2014. Still, health IT and digital health companies have now raised almost $10 billion in VC funding since 2010. We have already seen 10 mHealth M&A transactions in Q1 compared to 21 in all of last year, which bodes well for exits in the segment.
Tech entrepreneurs see the mobile health (mHealth) market as the next great business revolution, but it has yet to achieve critical mass. mHealth is considered the sum of technology-based applications that allow a patient and a physician to clinically interact from different locations. Examples include the exchange of medical information via e-mail, texting, smartphone apps, storing and forwarding pictures, and Web-based video.
The UK’s epicentre of health tech research is in Cambridge, driven in part by the local specialist institute in the field. Founded in 1992, the Cambridge Healthtech Institute strives to develop quality information sources that provide valuable new insights and competing points of view while offering balanced coverage of the latest developments. Basic research related to commercial implications is covered, with heavy emphasis placed on end-user insights into new products and technology as well as coverage on the strategy behind the business.
Demand for mobile-based diagnostic tools is growing from urban Mexico to rural Botswana to American homes. The strategic use of mobile data, the range of diseases being targeted via mobile device, the approach by which they’re being piloted, and how they’re being brought to market is rapidly advancing.
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