Mobile Data Services in Health Care to Grow to $7.7B by 2014, Report Says

Aug 13th, 2010 | By technologynews | Category: Technology

ABI Research has
released its quarterly update predicting rapid deployment of mobile data
services in health care worldwide over the next four years.

The
company predicts that sales of data services through cellular networks for
health care will increase to $7.7 billion worldwide in the next four years.

Access
revenues from mobile data services, mobile messagingincluding SMS (Short
Message Service) texting and mobile e-mailand productivity apps will lead
health care to just above 10 percent share of worldwide mobile data revenue by
2014, Dan Shey, enterprise practice director for ABI
Research, told eWEEK. 

“Health
care professionals now have apps on their devices that allow access to such
things as an office dashboard for schedules, patient data, including radiograph
information, and even individual applications like a medication reference
app,” Shey said.

Health
care companies are looking to lower costs by expanding their digitization and
implementing patient electronic medical records.

“Digitizing
health care is one path toward this goal, which involves everything from
scanning medication bar codes to simply accessing data on a media tablet
instead of using a clipboard with the inherent issue of transcription errors
going from clipboard to PC,” Shey said.

ABI
also predicted that by 2014, manufacturing and retail will take double-digit
shares of worldwide mobile data revenue at about 14 and 12 percent,
respectively.

Health
care, retail and manufacturing combined will reach $27 billion by 2014, the
company predicted. In addition to the $7.7 billion growth for health care, ABI
expects manufacturing to grow to $10 billion and retail to $8.7 billion by that
year.

More
medical professionals are using mobile devices, yet they struggle to maintain
cellular reception, according to a July 23 Spyglass Consulting group study. Although 94
percent of physicians surveyed were using smartphones, 78 percent reported
problems with timely smartphone connectivity.

The
ABI report focused on cellular networks and
didn’t factor in WiFi connectivity.  

On
June 22, ABI reported that WiFi use in the
health care industry had increased by more than 60 percent during the past year
in WLAN and WiFi RTLS (Real-Time Location System) deployments.

Although
many mobile devices are WiFi-enabled, health care professionals rely on
cellular access when they’re outside WiFi coverage areas.

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