The key and most attractive segment of mHealth in Germany is monitoring. According to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, monitoring will generate 72 percent of mHealth revenue in 2017. Thanks to the dynamic advances being made in wearable devices, the monitoring of vital signs is expected to receive a further boost in the coming years. The most popular medical apps in Germany are those related to nutrition (e.g. calorie and step counters). mHealth is therefore seen as having a significant role to play in supporting the shift towards preventative measures.
mHealth solutions in Germany enjoy widespread consumer acceptance, with fitness trackers, smartwatches and health and fitness apps growing in popularity. According to BITKOM, 31 percent of the German population uses fitness trackers to monitor their vital signs. Thirty percent of Germany’s smartphone users install health apps that monitor vital signs, search for physicians and pharmacies, promote weight loss or help improve sleep patterns.
Fitness Tracker Revenue in Germany in EUR million
© BITKOM 2016
The German market for fitness trackers has grown significantly during the past two years: Revenue went from EUR 39 million in 2014 to EUR 107 million in 2016. At present, fitness trackers are typically used as lifestyle products. However, the great potential of such wearables and other mHealth solutions goes way beyond prevention and lies in patient medical care. The increased use of mHealth in the professional health sector will improve prevention and therapy adherence rates and, accordingly, help reduce hospital admission/readmission levels and doctor’s visits. Adjustments to today’s technological possibilities within the legal framework and the remuneration system will most likely result in a dramatic uptake in the professional mHealth market.
Caterna Vision Therapy
Caterna, the first reimbursable medical app to be prescribed by physicians in Germany, is provided by Caterna Vision GmbH. The Caterna Vision Therapy is an on-screen application that can be used as an adjunct to occlusion treatment of childhood amblyopia. With the Caterna Vision app, patients can use the extended functions of Caterna Vision Therapy on their mobile devices. Caterna Vision Therapy is a medical product and meets all provisions of the Directive 93/42/EEC and is approved for the European market (CE-marked).