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How digital business models impact the value chain of health insurers

Dear Dr. David  Edward Marcinko MBA

I am happy to share with you, and your readers, Research2Guidance’s latest digital health article “How digital business models impact the value chain of health insurers“.

Health insurance companies have started to make use of digital technologies to reinvent the way they interact with their members and health care providers. Innovation is mainly driven by insure-tech companies raising hundreds of millions of investment money. Established health insurers must know new insure-tech digital business models to understand their impact on both value chain and market position.


We think, in 3-5 years from now, these digital business models will be widely implemented globally” – says Ralf Jahns, Managing Director of  Research 2 Guidance. “Asia and North America will lead but there will be and already are implementations in Europe as well“.

Thank you for your time!

P.S. If you, or your ME-P readers  need any insights or quotes about the digital health insurance market, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to provide you with reliable data and latest market insights.

Kind regards,
Stela Nikolova


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The entry point for medical app publishers into the healthcare market

Coaching Services


By Ralf-Gordon Jahns

Dear David,

Please find below Research2Guidance’s latest insights on “Coaching services: The entry point for medical app publishers into the healthcare market.”

Majority of mHealth app solutions are still operating outside the traditional healthcare market. App supported coaching services are more and more seen as the missing bridge between digital Health start-ups and healthcare incumbents. Coaching services are a win/win for both sides.

What are the six success factors of best in class digital enabled health coaching services?

Thank you for your time!Kind regards,

Chance of leading Pharma companies producing a successful app has decreased from 2.0% (2014) to 0.5% (2016)

Pharma Report Findings

By David Ireland Berlin

[Research2Guidance ]

Leading Pharma companies continue to struggle to gain significant reach (downloads) within their target groups. While companies have cumulatively over doubled their number of active apps available on Apple App and Google Play stores (2014 – Q1 2017), most have added to the growing tail of under performers.

Why is it that Pharma companies continue to struggle in mhealth?

Have they showed other signs of improvement within their app portfolios, or through 3rd party digital eco-systems?

Only 0.5% of all apps published by the leading 12 Pharma companies have managed to achieve annual downloads of over 100K; one of the major findings from the recently published, 2nd edition Pharma App Benchmarking 2017 report by Research2Guidance.

The report builds on figures identified from the previous edition, released in 2014. It also explores the leading 3rd party digital innovation strategies, their components, and their successfulness in terms of benefits (ROI, reach etc.). While companies have on average increased their app portfolio sizes from 65 to 153, average per app annual downloads remain low at just 3.3K.

Here are three of the main reasons why:

1. Companies are competing against a growing number of mhealth competitors. According to the 2016 mhealth Developer Economics Report, there were 290K mhealth apps listed on major app stores, an increase of +174K since 2014. Annual mhealth app download growth rates are also decreasing, adding to the growing pressure.

2. Pharma app portfolios have a narrower target audience than their mhealth competitors. App portfolios of Pharma companies differ from the average mhealth app portfolio in the greater degree to which they supply apps for HCP use cases. When comparing the app categorization differences between Pharma and mhealth, Pharma tends to target a greater share of patients over healthy individuals. This in turn decreases their potential target audience, making it harder to generate downloads.

3. Apps, on average, still fall behind their mhealth competitors in terms of product quality. Pharma app portfolios are not achieving the reach and retention experienced by the average mhealth provider. Inconsistencies of design elements and cross-referencing between apps are still far too common, and continue to let Pharma app quality down.

With the hype of, for example, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), connected devices and sensors mounting throughout the digital health industry, consumers are simply demanding more usability from their mhealth products and services.


Traditional Pharma product production life-cycles are simply incompatible when dealing with their digital offerings, given the rate of technological change. However, there are a few instances whereby Pharma companies have achieved some success with their internal app publishing.

Johnson&Johnson for example have published three of the five most downloaded Pharma apps for 2016; J&J Official 7 Minute Workout and onetouch Reveal. All three achieved over 200K downloads for 2016. The success of their leading apps has improved their portfolios overall performance in comparison to 2014.


All leading Pharma companies have grown their internal app portfolio size since 2014, and all but two (Abbott and Sanofi) have increased their reach.

However, thanks to the growing app portfolio size of Bayer and Novartis, and the high downloads of J&J, half of the leading Pharma companies have portfolios that fall below the average-lines. Previously, this was the case for five companies.

Taking J&J as an example, the success of a mere two or three apps can result in Pharma app market leadership.

Take Sanofi as another example. With the hype of Sanofi’s previous most downloaded app coming to an end (GoMeals), their internal app portfolio has experienced a significant decrease in annual downloads in comparison to 2014. Their portfolio has now fallen to 4th place in terms of reach behind J&J, Bayer and GSK. Novartis, Sanofi and Bayer have made the most significant strides in their app publishing activities, but are not seeing the ROI in the way of market penetration.

The newly released Pharma report goes into more company level detail on supply and demand from a platform, category, use-case and user-retention perspective. The report also analyses the 3rd party digital eco-system activities and strategies of these companies. Some appear to be relying more heavily on their 3rd party channels to source digital innovation than others, and their achievements to date give insight into which channels create the most potential for overall benefit to the Pharma company. These benefits can range from, for example, brand image improvement, digital innovation adoption, and new product distribution channels.


Find out more about the app portfolios and digital strategies of leading Pharma companies by downloading your copy of the report today. Click here to find out more about what’s inside.                                                                                                          


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The mHealth app Market is getting CROWDED

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There are 259,000 mHealth apps now

ralfBy Ralf-Gordon Jahns


Almost 100,000 mHealth apps have been added since the beginning of last year, amounting to 259,000 currently available on major app stores. In addition, 13,000 mHealth publishers have entered the market since the beginning of 2015, totaling 58,000. The largest global study on mHealth app publishing reveals a massive increase in competition in the mHealth app market.

The results of this year’s mHealth App Developer Economics 2016 study show a steep increase in competition level among mHealth app publishers. The supply side of mHealth apps is measured in the number of available apps and publishers. They are growing significantly faster than the demand side which is quantified by the number of mHealth app downloads. The number of mHealth apps and active mHealth app publishers has seen strong growth since 2015. This year, the total number of mHealth apps listed on major app stores across the globe grew by 57% to 259,000 apps.

“This impressive growth is based on three main developments; the growing number of mHealth app publishers, the increased importance of multi-platform app publishing and the expansion of existing mHealth app portfolios”

The number of mHealth app publishers grew in line with the number of apps. There are currently 58,000 mHealth app publishers app on major app stores, 28% more since the beginning of 2015. There appears to be no immediate end to the number of companies rushing into the market to launch their first mHealth app. Multi-platform publishing also contributes to the growth on the supply side of the mHealth app market.




Currently 75% of mHealth publishers are developing their mHealth apps both on iOS and Android platforms. Multi-platform publishing is even more significant for HTML5 and Windows Phone developers, however these platforms are still niche and don’t contribute a lot to the overall number of mHealth apps yet.

In contrast, growth rates of mHealth app store downloads are estimated to be only +7% in 2016, having been +35% the previous year, reaching a total of 3.2B in 2016. This is in line with other app market categories and reflects the fact that growth of capable devices that can download apps has slowed down in most western countries. As a consequence of this increased competition, it will be even more difficult to stand out and gain significant downloads. Only 14% of mHealth app publishers generated more than 100,000 downloads with their mHealth app portfolio in one year. This share increased only marginally by 3pp since 2014.

“Consumers are still downloading mHealth apps because they have heard about them or found them in the app store” explains Audrone Skardziute, Analyst at research2guidance. “The next push on the demand side will come from recommendations of traditional healthcare companies that are pushing apps to their employees or members.”

With hundreds of new mHealth apps released daily, companies have to consider their app launch as if it were a familiar product in a saturated market. The mHealth Developer Economics 2016 research program is the largest research program about mHealth app publishing. This year more than 2,600 mHealth app developers and decision makers participated and shared their experiences and views about the mHealth app market. There is much more and we will continue to write about the results of the study. Read the full report to see all results.

MORE: Download the free 28 page report here.


research2guidance is a Berlin-based mobile app economy specialist. The company’s service offerings include app strategy consulting, market studies and research.

Link to the report:


Link to the blog post: http://research2guidance.com/2016/10/11/mhealth-app-market-getting-crowded-259000-mhealth-apps-now/ Link to the image: http://research2guidance.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/It-is-getting-crowded.png


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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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Largest global m-Health research study reveals top five m-Health countries in Europe

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More than 5,000 participate in landmark study for m-health app companies

[By Ralf Jahns]ralph

RIGA, Latvia, 12 May 2015:

Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK are the top five countries offering the best market conditions for mobile health app companies in Europe, according to a survey conducted by research2guidance in collaboration with HIMSS Europe. As part of the largest global mHealth research programme, research2guidance and HIMSS Europe have come together to analyse the market readiness of the 28 EU member states through “The EU Countries’ mHealth App Market Ranking” survey.

Over 5,000 app developers, healthcare professionals and mHealth practitioners were asked to rank European countries based on their experience and provide reasons for their ranking. The practitioners view is combined with facts based evaluation for each country, based on five dimensions and 26 market condition criteria such as eHealth adoption, level of digitalization, market size and health expenditure, ease of starting a business and the mHealth regulatory framework.

Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Sweden and UK proved to have the highest market readiness and most mature market conditions, providing the best starting points for mHealth companies to succeed. Out of these five countries though, the UK emerged as the leader according to 55% of mHealth practitioners. The study revealed that this is primarily due to the openness and positive attitude many doctors in the UK have when it comes to new technology and integrating mHealth solutions into patient treatments.



[Click to enlarge]


Ralf Jahns, Managing Director at research2guidance, who announced the survey findings at the mHealth Summit Europe, said: “The survey is now in its sixth year and the response this time has been overwhelming becoming increasingly evident that the momentum around mHealth is growing at a rapid pace. The report is extremely valuable for anyone thinking about starting an mHealth company, as well as for government organisations in European countries that want to benefit from a flourishing mHealth ecosystem through creating highly qualified jobs, reducing national healthcare costs and ensuring high levels of quality of care.” Germany and France emerged with mixed results: on the one hand these two markets have enormous potential when it comes to the amount which has been invested in patients, doctors, hospitals and healthcare on a whole.

However, rankings for eHealth and mHealth adoption in Germany and France were extremely low, showing these countries are more reluctant to embrace the digitalisation of healthcare, thus classifying themselves as “average” countries to invest in mHealth. Rainer Herzog, General Manager at HIMSS Europe added: “The timing of the report is particularly important as it coincides with the mHealth Summit Europe which will bring together the most important stakeholders in the mHealth industry in Europe. The survey results will provide a great platform for discussion and give us an insight into how ready European countries really are to adopt mHealth and the challenges that some countries are yet to overcome, meanwhile giving entrepreneurs a head-start when deciding which country would be best to start an mHealth business.”

To view the full report please click here: About research2guidance:


Research2guidance is a strategy advisory and market research company. Research2guidance concentrates on the mobile app eco-system and are convinced that mobile health solutions will make a difference to people’s lives and that the impact on the healthcare industry will be significant. The organisation provides insights to make it happen and to successfully lead a business.

Link to full report Link to blog post Link to image


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Market for Mobile Health App Services Will Reach $26 Billion By 2017

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mHealth services start to leverage apps to become commercially successful

[By Markus Pohl]

The market for mHealth services has now entered the commercialization phase and will reach $ 26 billion globally by 2017 says the new “Global Mobile Health Market Report 2013-2017 ”by research2guidance. Smartphone applications have begun to enable the mHealth industry to successfully monetize their services.

The Impending Revolution

Ralf-Gordon Jahns, Head of Research at research2guidance, points out “Our findings indicate that the long-expected mobile revolution in healthcare is set to happen. Both healthcare providers and consumers are embracing smartphones as a means to improving healthcare.”

The Publishers

Top mHealth publishers manage to generate more than 3 million free and 300.000 paid downloads in the USA on the iOS platform. The reach on other platforms and in other countries differ at lot but show also the increase of business potential for mHealth apps.

Not only are consumers taking advantage of smartphones to manage and improve their own health, but also healthcare professionals. A significant number (15%) of mHealth applications are primarily designed for healthcare professionals. These include CME (Continued Medical Education), remote monitoring and healthcare management applications.

The Climate

Currently there are 97,000 mHealth applications in major app stores, 42% of them adhering to the paid business model. With more and more traditional healthcare providers joining the mobile applications market, the business models will broaden to include healthcare services, sensor, advertising and drug sales revenues.

“With the growing sophistication level of mHealth applications, only 9% of the total market revenue in the next 5 years will come from application download revenue”explains Patrick Houck Analyst at research2guidance. “84% of total mHealth application market revenue will come from related services and products such as sensors”.




The “Global Mobile Health Market Report 2013-2017 ”by research2guidance is a business guide for traditional healthcare companies, mHealth specialists as well as for mobile operators wishing to successfully engage into the new mHealth market.

About research2guidance:

research2guidance is a Berlin-based mobile app economy specialist. The company’s service offerings include app strategy consulting, market studies and research.

Link to blog post: http://www.research2guidance.com/the-market-for-mhealth-app-services-will-reach-26-billion-by-2017/

Link to graph: http://www.research2guidance.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/the-mhealth-market-has-reached-the-commercialization-phase.png

Link to report: http://www.research2guidance.com/shop/index.php/mhealth-report-2


Ralf-Gordon Jahns [+49 30 609 893 362] ralf.jahns@research2guidance.com


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Update On Medical Smartphone Apps

Offering a Window Of Opportunity For M-Health Service Providers

By Markus Pohl

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The potential revenue that could be made in the mobile healthcare app market is just a fraction of the total integrated healthcare market. Service providers within the healthcare market have a window of opportunity with the possibilities that the mobile apps market offers right now.

The benefits of integrated electronic and mobile healthcare solutions are evident. At the moment there is a lot of potential for companies to scale up their services and learn how to adapt to the changing market. But they have to act quickly to seize the moment. In the last few years those solutions either remained as isolated pilots or struggled with all kinds of barriers from healthcare stakeholders, with only a few exceptions.

Integrated Solutions 

As it is not clear when integrated solutions will become widely accepted around the globe, more and more e-health and m-health service provides are rethinking their strategy. They are turning away from complex and integrated solutions that need acceptance of all national healthcare stakeholders to more simple patient centric services.

m-Health Services Rising

This rethinking process goes hand in hand with the rise of the smartphone app market. In the next 5 years the smartphone app market will help the mobile healthcare industry to reach a new level. mHealth apps will be widely used and will demonstrate the technological possibilities of smartphones. Technology, educated patients/doctors and proof of cost savings for health insurance providers will eventually allow companies to make money with mhealth apps.

Before the smartphone app market brought new life to the mobile healthcare market, mHealth service providers struggled to scale up their solutions. Most of them never made it out of the trial stage. Some of them were just too basic, such as simple pill reminders running on SMS as the primary delivery technology. More complex solutions that were based on eHealth initiatives integrated the features of a mobile device with a database (electronic health records), but failed mainly because of political barriers and low awareness amongst patients.


For more information on the smartphone based mHealth market and its business opportunities for healthcare provides please see our latest report on the mHealth market: “Mobile Health Market Report 2010-2015”.



+49 30 609 893 363



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