The vast majority of these trials are at pilot stage, demonstrating the uncertainty and immaturity of commercialising and transitioning mobile health into the mainstream.Mobile health is set to generate around $8.8bn of annual revenues for TMT providers by 2017.

In the highly digital world, consumers are becoming increasingly connected. The convergence of network devices and content is the key. Telecommunications service providers need to focus on finding and retaining the digital consumers while focusing on driving growth and cost savings to stay viable. MNOs have a number of unique assets, which gives them an important role at the centre of the mHealth ecosystem.However, despite evident demand, players within the mobile health ecosystem, ranging from mobile network operators (MNOs) to device vendors and systems integrators, face significant challenges in scaling up mobile health services to a level where they will start to significantly impact health outcomes and generate substantial revenue.

Automation of simple health care processes through SMS applications and the use of mobile to enable remote patient monitoring are service examples that are already commercially available in developed markets. Expansive geographic coverage of mobile networks enables the delivery of healthcare services into the most remote and hard to reach areas, while the ubiquity of mobile devices provides a large addressable market for mHealth applications. What is more, embedding mobile modules into a variety of medical devices will leverage MNO assets such as security of data transfer, quality of service and close relationships with consumer and business end-users.

HealthCursor has worked with Telecom operators like Orange, Airtel, Vodafone and other large telcos in the world to define regional offerings and bring inorganic growth.MNOs could have a bigger role to play in the delivery of m-health solutions, by supporting a multitude of diseases, conditions, devices and patients all with different requirements. For example, Qualcomm Life has invested in a platform to provide managed m-health services, and there is no reason why an MNO may not provide similar services, instead of purely providing connectivity for the delivery of those services.Mobile healthcare can deliver a number of important advantages that span a wide range of potential uses.

We have worked with Orange, Airtel, Vodafone and other large telcosĀ all over the world

Strategy Insights

Efficient healthcare systems based on robust infrastructure like smartphones will drive revenue for all stakeholders in the next 5 years.

The progression of mHealth will largely be dependent on innovations in telecom and the speed of implementation of the same. 4G /LTE (Long-term evolution) will revolutionize the way data is sent over wireless networks. In the near future, I envision a scenario where a consumer can set up a telehealth appointment and get a physician consult leveraging the high speed wireless connection and high-def video conferencing capability right from his handset.Read More>>

Perspectives

MHealth has great potential in India because of growing mobile penetration in the country. Currently we have 600 million subscribers in India- Are these subscribers or Connections?

In Australia, more than 50 percent of the general population sends at least one text message a day.The result is a nearly universal, text-based communications medium that connects the deaf to the hearing world. By using text messaging, deaf mobile users can order a pizza or invite friends for a beer. It’s great for younger people because their group of friends is extended to their peer group, and not just other deaf people.Read More>>