mHealth developers face several challenges for users and developers.
Interest in these applications is weak. Statistics reveal that 60% of the population have downloaded at least one mobile health application. How long and how often they access the program is another story.
Whle the consumer market is potentially infinite, in real life things are quite different. Most of these apps are available free of charge or for a small fee. A few have monthly or annual fees.
The Chrome store and iTunes (iOS) provide easy access to purchasing mHealth applications for desktops and also tablets.
Business sustainability is an issue in terms of acquisition and/or usage. Developers face ongoing expense in software applicaions with upgrades, new versions and staying current with preferred practice patterns for monitoring metrics such as weight, BMI, blood pressure,pulse rate and for monitoring blood chemistries as the technology advances.
Wearable devices are becoming more commonplace and recent sensory and biochemical markets can be measured with these devices using non invasive skin sensors. The future for wearable sensors may also be combined with embeddable chips accessed by RFID devices, much like personal ID used for animals and people. Technology also exists that precludes wearing an external device constantly Acquisition is possible just by walking near an RFID antenna embedded in the wall of a home or office. The potential uses are enormous, not just for measuring metrics, and also reminders for appointments, prescripton renewals.
The promises of nano-technology have already contributed to the development of drug delivery systems capable of going where 'no drug has gone before'.
Spectrum Health faced these challenges of sustainability with their subsidiary Ideomed, a mobile health application. Their decision was to discontinue their mobile health applications associated with their health plan.