Wellness Apps, Other Products Could Save U.S. $50B by 2018

June 12, 2015

Devicemakers marketing mobile health solutions or other software that help patients manage chronic conditions may see big benefits in coming years, new research suggests.

Device software and mobile health applications saved $6 billion in 2014, according to a report from Accenture. Those savings were driven mainly by behavioral changes such as improved medication compliance and fewer emergency room visits. These savings could grow by as much as 53 percent annually over the next three years, the research says.

That means that by 2018, digital health solutions — many of which are devices — could cut $50 billion from annual U.S. healthcare costs. The projections are based on an assessment of FDA approvals between 2010 and 2014 and industry trends. Rapid growth in 510(k) clearance of digital health products, from 13 in 2010 to 26 in 2012 and 33 in 2014 could mean the number of clearances reaching 45 this year and 100 by 2018 if the rate continues.

Factors driving the uptick in digital health products include more clarity and consistency from the FDA and improved infrastructure that encourages caregivers to integrate devices with electronic health records and other clinical systems. — Elizabeth Orr