PWC predict mHealth market will be worth $59B by 2020


It’s great that PWC (the world’s second largest professional services firm with 223,000 employees and $35.4B of revenue in 2015) have finally dropped their complete take off of our mHealth Insight blog and rebranded their ‘mHealthInsights’ market analysis as “MyLifeConnected”.

mHealth Insights

“The way we manage our health is changing rapidly. Until very recently, looking after our health was more or less the preserve of traditional, professional providers. Now we have a greater ability to track and control our own wellbeing and have a bigger say in how it’s managed. These changes have resulted in the development of a new connected health market segment”

I notice this is  a very common misunderstanding of the history of medicine that’s common amongst technologists. The reality is traditionally Patients have been on their own managing their health and we need to use the tools of our time to move towards a constant care situation.

“We predict that the connected health market will be worth almost US$61 billon globally by 2020, representing 33% average annual growth over this period. While this presents a huge opportunity to the sector, it also raises questions for both incumbents and innovators: How do you best encourage (or nudge) people to change the way they deliver, and use, health services? How do you give people sufficient confidence to share, and use, technology in an aspect of their life that is personal and sensitive?”

I’m surprised the analysts aren’t more optimistic eg. Apple CEO Tim Cook is confident that the size of the mHealth market is going to dwarf the Trillion Dollar mobile industry.

Perhaps I’m too optimistic but I’m confident that Apple branded hearing devices alone (think next gen AirPods) will be worth at least as much as the $14B “m-health device” market by 2020 when medical technology like Alivecor ECG will be native on even low cost mobiles.


“According to our ‘connected living’ survey, 26% of 18–34 year olds are already using technology such as wearables to monitor their health”

I think survey results like this are missing the big picture eg. Mobile phones are the most worn technology on the planet and the vast majority of young people use them to monitor their health normally without them having to even think about it.

“Consumers and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly using the internet as a way to access, analyse and use health-related information to develop new treatments and medication. The connected health market is attracting growing investment from both public and private sector sources. In the first six months of 2014, global digital health investment deals were worth US$3.3 billion [2]”

These numbers may look large but when you realise that US annual healthcare spend was $3 Trillion last year it puts this global investment amount into perspective eg. it’s equivalent to just 0.33% of US healthcare industry spend.

“We predict rapid growth in the connected health market, largely as a result of the rise in online prescriptions and the expanding mobile health (mHealth) market (the two areas we have focused on in our analysis)”

I think the prediction that “online prescription revenues” will grow to $2Billion by 2020 is a very low estimate eg. it’s likely Walgreens in the USA alone are generating more than $1Billion/year already from their Mobile App which has been providing prescriptions for years.

“The mobile health market’s growth will come from increasing penetration of smartphones, easy and cheap internet access and an increasing worldwide focus on preventive medicine. In addition to developments in technology, the increased incidence of various conditions such as diabetes, obesity and sleep disorders are also contributing to this market’s expansion. However, obstacles to growth include the high cost of mobile healthcare devices and services. Despite those high costs, we estimate that the connected health care market will reach US$61 billion in 2020”

I think it’s unlikely that mHealth devices and services will be high cost compared to the current offerings eg. the Medical Tech divide is disappearing thanks to mHealth.

About David Doherty
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