Profile of a successful mhealth app: Made for iOS, connects to other APIs, sells as a service

5:55 am by | 3 Comments

mhealth app

There are more than 100,000 mobile health apps, by one research firm’s count, but the great majority of them get downloaded fewer than 50,000 times and don’t bring in more than $10,000 in revenue.

Mobile research firm research2guidance surveyed more than 2,000 mobile health app developers around the world and examined the differences between those who had made significant revenue from their apps and those who hadn’t. Aside from obvious things like being featured in the App Store or being the subject of visible ad campaigns, there were a few common traits among the successful ones.

Consider “successful” to mean those publishers whose portfolio of apps had more than 500,000 downloads and brought in at least $1 million in revenue.

  1. Their revenue model is service-based, rather than based on paid downloads. More than a third of so-called successful apps, ranging from image sharing to sophisticated remote monitoring, get their revenue primarily from service sales, research2guidance said.

  2. They integrate with other databases or health tracking devices. Open APIs allow apps to access more data that can enrich their value.

  3. They have a large portfolio. More than one-third of the “successful” developers had published more than 20 mobile health apps, the firm said.

  4. IOS is their No. 1 platform. A whopping three-fourths of successful developers had a preference for iOS over Android.mhealth app platform

  5. They’re experienced. More than half of the successes had been in the mhealth business for at least four years.

  6. They use more app development tools. That includes ad networks, analytics, social networks and storage tools.

More than one-quarter of the apps on the market target fitness-oriented people, the report says, and nearly a third are for chronically ill patients. With time, research2guidance’s analysts expect that fitness apps will dwindle in importance, with remote monitoring and consultation apps surpassing them.

mhealth app outlook

It’s 43 pages, but the full report is worth a look for those in the business of mobile health. It’s the firm’s fourth annual study on the state and future of mobile healthcare in collaboration with Continua Alliance and HIMSS.

[Charts from research2guidance]

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Deanna Pogorelc

By Deanna Pogorelc MedCity News

Deanna Pogorelc is a Cleveland-based reporter who writes obsessively about life science startups across the country, looking to technology transfer offices, startup incubators and investment funds to see what’s next in healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and previously covered business and education for a northeast Indiana newspaper.
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I would respectfully say that the three biggest reasons for the lack of success of medical apps (which need to be differentiated from consumer-facing apps) are the failure to address a specific clinical problem, the lack of demonstration of efficacy (is it too much to ask if an app does what it says it does?) and the lack of involvement of a healthcare professional in its development. Issues that are common to both consumer and medical apps are lack of significant attention to user experience and behavioral considerations in particular. Is it any wonder why most apps are downloaded and never opened or opened only once? For a bit more discussion on the topic, please refer to:

Jonathan Wiesman
Jonathan Wiesman

The mobile Apps in Healthcare number almost 100,000 and the revenue winners use service fee not download for winners in the mobile applications market, the true innovative winners are the HIPAA-compliant FDA approved platforms that offer the doctors the ability to subscribe the APPs and the insurance companies then will pay for the monitoring that feeds the data back to the Patient and then also feeds the doctors EHR so that the value is truly reallized. One such platform Validic has 86 mobile applications presently and will be up to 100 by end of year. The trend for direct affect on big healthcare concerns such as Diabetes a $248 Billion healthcare impact on America is worth making a difference, the smart mobile companies will align on platforms, choose the top health concern markets and drive ads on social media and hospital groups to use the safety of choosing wisely. Imagine the confusion of looking over 100,000 applications and instead have an already approved listing.