Patients are turning to mobile health apps to get their healthcare

Mobile health (mHealth) apps that can help manage diseases and track key data in between physician visits are rising in popularity. Still, app developers will need to enhance their products’ value in order for consumers and healthcare partners to fully invest.

We detail the market for condition-specific mHealth apps and examine what trends have been driving recent growth in our recently published Mobile Health Apps for Disease Management report. Below, we highlight some of the key points from the report.

Disease management health apps are rising to prominence. The amount of publicly available health condition management apps reviewed by IQVIA has increased by nearly 20 percentage points since 2015, while the number of exercise and fitness apps has declined. Thanks to their improved features that help manage conditions in between physician visits, apps specifically tailored for diabetes, mental and behavioral health, and heart disease are becoming the most prevalent.

The global health crisis pushed health apps—particularly those for mental health—to the mainstream. Patients are turning to mobile apps to manage their health much more frequently now than before the pandemic. Apps are filling gaps for patients who have unmet needs due to unaffordable healthcare, provider shortages, and long wait times.

More validation is needed before insurers, employers, and providers integrate disease management apps into their businesses. Measuring an app’s effectiveness on human health is challenging, but it may be necessary to get healthcare stakeholders to buy in. Insurers, employers, and providers are motivated to lower costs and improve outcomes—and mHealth apps can help. Developers that can quantify their apps’ results are more likely to come out on top.

Better integration with wearables, condition-specific devices, and electronic health records (EHRs) will help disease management apps prosper. Providers and patients want mHealth apps to be convenient and to synchronize easily with other technology. Apps that connect with wearables and condition-specific monitoring devices, such as glucose meters, will allow users to send health data to their clinicians or EHRs from their smartphones.

Note: This is just a snippet from our recently published Mobile Health Apps for Disease Management report. Click here to read the report in its entirety.