November 13 2018: Today an app is more than just an app: The app is the centre of a whole ecosystem of connectivity.
In the early days of mobile health, apps consisted of simple technical solutions. Today, the landscape for digital health is a well-established eco-system of multiple connectivity options. Apps are embedded into an ecosystem of connected devices, interfaces and exchanged data, Software Development Kits, connection to wearables and more. Usually the app is the interface for the user and the center of a whole range of other connected systems like:
- Wearables and tracking sensors: Fitness trackers, wristbands, watches e.g. Apple watch
- Medical devices: Exemplary devices are blood glucose monitors, stethoscopes, inhalers, ECGs, smart beds or spirometers
- Electronic Health Records: medical files stored electronically and rather easy to share
- Aggregated health data via API: Access to structured health data managed by a data aggregator accessed via an API
- Tools: SDKs are providing sets of tools (e.g. documents, libraries, pieces of code or guidelines) to develop software quicker and easier
Research2Guidance has published a new report on the topic “Connectivity in Digital Health" which finds that the app has become the centre of a whole ecosystem of connectivity. 81% of all app publishers in healthcare are using tools in app development to cover every app developer’s issue like app testing, app performance, analytics, data storage, connecting to social networks, etc. Tool usage has increased by 9 percentage points (pp) within one year.
Other findings: 49% of all mHealth app publishers are integrating EHRs & EHR functionalities into their apps. By now, 37% of all mHealth app publishers are integrating EHRs (and respective EHR functionalities) into their mobile apps. This number has not changed within the last year.
Access full report here