In today’s technological world, we seem to have devices that are capable of almost anything. The advent of touch screens has opened the door for a whole new wave of hand held medical devices. People are now able to determine things like their blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate simply with the touch of a button.
In the past, most electronic medical devices were designed for doctors to use when treating patients. However, recent technological advances have shifted the digital medical market towards patients. People can now access important personal medical information by using certain apps on their smartphone. Currently there are nearly 44,000 healthcare related apps available for download; 69% of which are intended for consumer use. While the majority of these apps are simplistic in nature, there are a number of them that can analysis data and perform other sophisticated tasks. The most popular apps involve vision care and medical sensors
Major medical device manufacturers have been a driving force behind the growing electronic medical market. Bayer currently holds 11.2% of the market share, and they are followed closely behind by Merck, Novartis, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim. The vast majority of apps and devices produced by these companies are compatible with the Apple iPhone and this trend is expected to continue with the iPhone’s increasing popularity and continued technological advancements.
Studies from the marketing firm Manhattan Research show that in 2013 nearly 95 million Americans either used their smart phones as healthcare tools, or to search for healthcare related information. The market for medical apps is growing at an incredible rate and some economists believe that it could be worth 26 billion dollars in the United States alone by 2017. People love medical apps because of the convenience they provide. While they are no substitute for doctors, these apps and devices give people the ability to monitor their health from the comfort of their own homes. There is no doubt that the medical app market is revolutionizing medicine.