The Health App tranjectory… will mHealth apps be native by 2015?

“In Defense of mHealth App Adoption” is an article by Brian Dolan of MobiHealthNews in which he predicts that by 2015 mHealth app adoption will have followed the same adoption patterns as social networking sites have over the last 5 years.

Note: Brian’s referring to the reports of “weak adoption” for mHealth. As mentioned previously here I think this is a massive underestimation of the market as the Pew Research ignores the fact that other native apps (such as the SMS app, Calendar app, Internet Browser app, etc) are already being used widely for healthcare. Indeed if you interpreted Pew’s adoption stats to signify mHealth adoption you would discount a patient using 3G Doctor – because whilst they may be able to 3G Video consult with an informed registered Doctor, we don’t require patients to download anything to their device.

This all got me thinking about the inevitable tranjectory I think mHealth apps are on. By 2015 I think the idea of apps is going to be very dated. Even today with the use of Google Health on my mobile device already I can use any connected device and don’t need to download anything, just visit a secure website:

Whilst I’d readily accept that mobile computing is going to continue to be ever more personalised, I think it’s obvious that as mHealth becomes a mass market proposition even the reluctant mobile device manufacturers are going to install native applications if they think people will want them, use them and as a result become more loyal to their device.

If you think the future is a continuation of this AppStore downloadable app environment ask yourself how many downloaded apps do you use on your laptop? How many do your parents use? Instead of text books being apps wouldn’t it be better if we just regarded them as merely content for our native reader app?

5 years is a long time in the world of mobile – and as the battle for the best mobile browser commences let’s not forget we’re already lightening years away from where most of us were 5 years ago!

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