Over the last few years, the eHealth market has been emerging as a new segment in the global healthcare industry, establishing itself in the market. The continuous advancement of technologies and digital applications facilitates electronic healthcare (eHealth) into a wide range of healthcare processes, from monitoring patients in general wards, ICUs or at home, to assisting doctors in making better diagnoses and treatment plans. eHealth is transforming patient care into a more convenient and responsive process coordinated with healthcare need and therefore is forecasted to pose a greater expansion in the near future. Additionally, eHealth stock prices continue to look promising, further proving the promise of the market.
As defined by WHO, “eHealth is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health. The eHealth unit works with partners at the global, regional and country level to promote and strengthen the use of ICT in health development, from applications in the field to global governance. The unit is based in the Department of Service Delivery and Safety in the Cluster of Health Systems and Innovation.” Today, eHealth is evolving to be the best example of the union between healthcare and emerging technologies/applications that leverage data, cloud and mobile platforms for effective patient treatment.
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According to the latest market research from Market Data Forecast, the global eHealth market was worth $ 98.09 billion in 2016 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.80 %, reaching $195.58 billion by 2021. The shift to digital healthcare systems for analysis and management of patient health, the rising use of mobile technologies and internet, the increasing cases of chronic diseases and technological developments in the global marketplace all drive this market’s growth.
Major eHealth applications successfully integrated into various healthcare practices include Electronic Health Records (EHR), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Telehealth and telemedicine, Health IT systems, Consumer health IT data, Virtual healthcare, Mobile Health (mHealth), Big data systems used in digital health, etc.
When it comes to regional markets, North America is leading the global eHealth market due to increases in healthcare spending, improvements to the healthcare infrastructure and the rapid adoption of digital health technology. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in December 2015, more than half of mobile phone users in the U.S. have downloaded a health-related mobile app.
However, the eHealth market in Asia-Pacific expects to witness the fastest growth in the near future. What drives growth in these emerging economies is an emphasis on the integration of technology with healthcare and government initiatives that support digital healthcare solutions. For example, in January 2016, the government of India launched a mobile health service ‘Kilkari’ under its Digital India initiative. This mobile app educates mothers about pregnancy, child care, and childbirth. Such initiatives and government supports are believed to effectively create a better ecosystem for the favorable growth of the eHealth market.
In June 2014, Apple announced the integration of its HealthKit platform into the upcoming iPhone operating system (iOS 8) that will provide a complete health overview of the user, such as weight, sleep patterns, heart rate and blood pressure measurements and caloric intake, thus becoming one of the leading players in the global eHealth market. Some other major players in today’s eHealth market include Boston Scientific Corp., IBM, Motion Computing Inc., GE Healthcare, Epocrates Inc., Telecare Corp., CompuMed, Medisafe, SetPoint Medical, Doximity, Lift Labs and Proteus Digital Health.