The Play is Huge
An ecosystem needs to be created for m-health which would be distinct from the mobile ecosystem
To add to the problems of falling ARPU being faced by Indian mobile operators, the allegations of graft, regulatory uncertainties, and stiff competition is making their business growth plans unviable. In a move to reverse the downward growth trend, the mobile operators have launched 3G mobile services in different telecom circles of our country. Despite the heavy investments by Indian mobile operators in 3G mobile phone technology, services have struggled to take off in India.
Inability to launch appealing VAS is being attributed as one of the key reasons for the slow uptake of 3G services. As we have only scratched the surface of VAS opportunities to be delivered through the 3G technology, tremendous growth potential exists with opportunities like m-health (mobile health) in India.
M-health is set to make an entry into India’s primary health centers (PHCs) and sub-centers as the health ministry plans to go hi-tech. The 3G technology and applications of m-health encompassing telemedicine and mobile health raise hopes of enhanced revenue generation for mobile operators and taking healthcare services to the remotest and the most underprivileged sections of society that have been untouched by physical infrastructure in the past decades.
The revenue generation opportunities are huge and require the Indian ecosystem players to overcome numerous challenges and stay focused on key scaling factors so as to harness the mobile health opportunity.
The opportunities in the global mobile healthcare market are estimated to be worth between $50 bn and $60 bn in 2010, prompting operators to step up their initiatives in this emerging sector. The mobile health market in APAC is expected to comprise almost 30% of the global market and reach $6.8 bn, corresponding to mobile health spend per capita of about $1.6, by 2017.
India with 8% market share is expected to contribute significantly to the mobile health opportunity in APAC. The rising use of smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices is expected to create a 3,000 crore market in India by 2017.
It is estimated that mobile-enabled monitoring services, like those offered for chronic disease management, will make