Sectoral Capsule : The Mobile Healthcare Market in Brazil (2009 - 2018) - Opportunities Galore
The Brazilian mHealth market is brimming with opportunities as more and more mHealth projects are being implemented in the country. Simultaneously, the augmentation of mobile technology is facilitating the healthcare services to reach to the remote and poor patients.
According to a report by PwC, mHealth can facilitate an additional 28.4 million people to access the healthcare system and the total healthcare expenditure could reduce by 14 billion USD in Brazil by 2017. Consequently, an additional 4.3 million patients can be treated with these savings and the increased productivity would add USD 4.6 billion to the GDP of the country.
The acceptance of mobile health solutions by medical practitioners and healthcare providers will help in expansion of the market and adoption rate by patients. The mobile health solutions are expected to increase the efficiency of service delivery by allowing early diagnosis, remote monitoring of patients, and well informed line of treatment.
It is predicted that sedentary lifestyle will increasing the incidence of chronic disease in Brazil with number of patients suffering from chronic disease will grow to 80 million in 2018 from 70 million in 2013. Further, lack of awareness poses major threat in spreading of these diseases. In Brazil, 50 percent of men are overweight which signifies the lack of awareness among the citizens of the country.
In addition, the inadequate healthcare resource is another issue for the healthcare system in Brazil. For example, the family healthcare teams deployed by the health ministry to promote good health and provide care cover only 50 percent of the population.
Mobile health apps are considered to be the game changer in healthcare delivery system for both patients and service providers. However, there is a growing concern about the security and safety of the health applications. There are no standard rules and regulations which apps developers follow and there is no mechanism to compare the efficiencies of apps.
Besides, the mobile apps developer and smartphone manufacturers should keep in mind the ability of patients to operate mobile applications. Moreover, the affordability of device and application will also play a crucial role in greater adoption of these services.
With constraint of healthcare infrastructure and medical personal, Brazil is forced to innovate ways to deliver healthcare to its population. The role of the government will be crucial in uptake of mobile health solution. The government should devise policies and incentives for mobile health providers for larger access of these services.
Further, government should also coordinate with healthcare providers, mobile operators, doctors, health app developers to build up the confidence levels of people for greater adoption.
The estimates of mobile health solutions helping in saving time and costs of treatment augurs well for the industry. Besides, these solutions can also assist patients in motivating them to improve their lifestyle and health related issues through reminders, SMSs, and emails.
With disease profile of Brazilian patients shifting from communicable diseases to chronic diseases, mHealth technology has the potential to transform the healthcare delivery system with remote monitoring, early detection, time savings, reduced hospitalization days and lesser costs of treatment.
Further, the amount of savings from these technologies can help the government to improve infrastructure, build new hospitals and invest in expanding human resource.
Thus, the mHealth solution benefit can be pervasive with enhanced productivity of patients, thereby, increasing the economy of the country.