mHealth will have more than 157m users by 2020, says Juniper

Mobile health will experience a dramatic uptake in the next five years, a new study by Juniper Research suggests.

The research firm estimated that the number of people using mHealth information services will surpass 157 million users by 2020, more than tripling from 50 million we had last year.

Juniper’s new whitepaper, Worldwide Digital Health: Developed and Emerging Market Opportunities 2016 – 2020, suggests that issues like infant mortality and infectious diseases will force service providers to provide various initiatives which will, ultimately, lead to a higher adoption of mHealth information services. Key services, especially to those who don’t have access to general healthcare services, will be SMS, apps and IVR (Interactive Voice Response).

But it’s not just mHealth, Juniper also mentioned successful projects such as the Khushi Baby, a wearable device containing an individual’s health information, as well as Mobile Medic – saying such projects will be a ‘game-changer’ for emerging markets over the coming years.

Juniper says the growth in emerging markets would be even higher, if commercial barriers could somehow be removed. Many current offerings are exclusively donor-funded, the company says, and only a handful of services (Tanzania’s Wazazi Nipendeni was one of the examples) being based on sustainable business models.