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NEW YORK — The market for healthcare-related software apps for use in mobile devices has grown and will continue to grow quickly, according to Kalorama Information report released Tuesday. The market for mobile medical apps was worth about $150 million in 2011.
The conversion of major healthcare organizations to electronic medical record systems and the breadth of medical apps available are driving purchases, the medical research firm noted. Not only is the medical community using smartphones and their applications for basic work, but it's reporting the use of smartphones to perform some of the work that would have previously been done on a desktop or laptop computer.
The growing use of mobile devices and medical applications for these devices has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to provide more oversight in this segment, Kalorama noted.
"The medical app market is growing at a faster rate than the standard app market," stated Melissa Elder, author of the report. "They are being heavily utilized by professionals and welcomed by healthcare organizations seeking to make workers more productive."
While the overall mobile app market is expected to continue to display strong double-digit growth through 2016, the medical app market will also continue to grow but at a faster rate. Although they make up just 1% to 2% of the entire market for mobile apps, Kalorama finds that healthcare apps will grow 25% annually over the next five years, compared to 23% growth estimated for the standard apps market. The growing number of healthcare professionals utilizing these apps in everyday business activities is contributing to the market segment growing at a faster rate than some other categories of apps.
Part of the revenue growth is being driven by prices rather than volume, according to the report. Despite the higher price tag for most medical apps (averaging $15 per app), the number of downloads is lower than other categories, keeping medical apps high growth-wise but on the lower end of total dollars earned in comparison to other app areas.