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Unformatted text preview: MOBILE HEALTH
Who Pays? Contents introduction.........................................................................................................................................................................................1
Executive.summary...........................................................................................................................................................................2 1.. The.challenges.of.healthcare.................................................................................................................................................4
8.. Conclusions................................................................................................................................................................................36 .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 1 Introduction
Mobile health is big news in the telecoms industry. Although there is little consensus on the size, or
even scope, of the global market for mobile health, several sources predict a market in the United
States on the order of $4.5 billion within the next two to three years, and this has been extrapolated
to a global market in excess of $30 billion. Other estimates are even higher1. However, while mobile
health has huge potential to both improve healthcare delivery and provide revenue for service
providers , achieving broad uptake and monetizing this potential has proved difficult to achieve.
This report, commissioned by the GSMA and delivered by global management consultancy
A.T. Kearney, seeks to shed light on this critical issue and to define the steps that operators need
to take to build a sustainable mobile health business. The report has been developed through
a comprehensive search of available literature and interviews with a range of operators from
Europe, the United States and Asia.
The report starts by describing the challenges faced by both established healthcare systems
and less well-developed countries, and how mobile health can help address them. It describes
the practical difficulties of gaining reimbursement for mobile health solutions and discusses
alternative customers and value propositions. The paper discusses potential roles for mobile
operators and commercial models, and outlines key success factors for building a scale mobile
health business. Finally, the paper summarises the trends the industry should be seeking to
encourage to influence the creation of a favourable environment for mobile health solutions. 1 Parks Research, CSMG, McKinsey. page 2..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? Executive Summary
Delivering. affordable. healthcare. is. one. of. the.
most.intractable.challenges.faced.by.any.government.. in. countries. with. well-developed. health.
systems,. the. challenge. is. to. meet. the. rising.
Mobile. health. has. enormous. potential. to. lower.
health.applications.that.are.able.to.address.conditions. such. as. diabetes,. respiratory,. and. cardiac.
likely. to. be. most. popular.. “Open. system”. platforms. that. can. connect. multiple. remote. monitoring. devices. to. address. the. needs. of. patients.
with. multiple. conditions. will. be. especially.
valuable.. However,. healthcare. is. an. extremely.
The. vast. majority. of. global. health. spend. is.
consumers. in. established. markets. will. be. major.
buyers. beyond. low-cost. mobile. health. services..
Reimbursement. systems. are. very. complicated.
and. not. always. compatible. with. mobile. health.
in. detail. how. reimbursement. systems. work. in.
each. country. and. to. identify. the. most. appropriate.customers.and.value.propositions..At.least. in. the. medium. term,. the. greatest. opportunities.
substantial. market,. and. in. this. case. customers.
Outside. of. the. major. established. health. systems,.
the.situation.varies.widely.from.the.poorest.countries. with. only. rudimentary. health. infrastructures.
to. rapidly. developing. markets. which. do. not. yet.
For. the. poorest. countries,. the. challenge. is. to.
provide. the. general. population. with. access. to.
services. are. often. non-governmental-organisations. (NGOs).. While. revenues. are. likely. to. be.
health. as. an. alternative. to. investment. in. more.
and. the. “professionally recommended” consumer.
To. gain. significant. revenues,. operators. will. need.
telecom. services. of. security. and. data. management. right. through. to. clinical. services.. Solutions.
will.need.to.be.scalable,.addressing.multiple.applications.across.global.markets,.though.these.solutions. will. need. to. be. developed. step-by-step. as.
will.need.to.understand.and.manage.the.regula- .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 3 tory.and.clinical.risks.inherent.in.providing.these.
pharmacies.for.clinical.services.and.distribution.. To.achieve.real.growth.in.this.market,.it.is.important. that. mobile. and. healthcare. industries. work.
platforms. and. expect. technology. solutions. to.
have. a. long. life,. and. the. emergence. of. an. open.
platform.will.accelerate.widespread.adoption.. To. communicate. the. benefits. of. mobile. health,.
operators. should. show. how. solutions. can.
address. pressing. health. needs.. Benefits. need. to.
be. expressed. in. “currencies”. that. will. resonate.
with. healthcare. payers. and. health. providers..
standards.will.be.required.. There. is. also. a. role. for. policy. makers. to. stimulate.innovation.and.uptake.in.this.area.through.
adoption. of. international. healthcare. coding.
standards.and.common.approaches.to.management. of. clinical. data.. Reimbursement. regimes.
are. currently. not. designed. with. mobile. health.
solutions. in. mind,. and. should. be. adapted. to.
and.carers.. There. are. several. paths. that. operators. can.
Successful. mobile. health. businesses. will. require.
a. dedicated. organisation. with. global. product.
New. capabilities. will. be. required. to. understand.
how. diseases. are. treated. and. how. each. specific.
healthcare. system. works.. New. channels. and.
of. new. technologies. will. not. happen. without.
substantial. investment. in. active. marketing. and.
by. experiments. and. pilots.. Over. time. specific.
these. companies. will. need. to. make. long-term.
commitments.to.this.market..However,.the.eventual.prize.could.be.substantial.for.the.winners.. page 4..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? 1. The challenges of healthcare
Delivering affordable healthcare is one of the most
intractable challenges faced by any government.
Worldwide, total healthcare spending exceeds
$4.2 trillion, consuming an average of 10% of GDP
in OECD countries and increasing at an average of
5% every year. However, this spend is highly skewed.
The top 20 healthcare consuming countries contain
16% of population, yet spend nearly 90% of every
one of those $4.2 trillion. The US alone, with 5% of
the population, spends over 45%. The “have-nots,” on
the other hand — the remaining 84% of the people
on the planet — share 11% of health spending, but
suffer from nearly 95% of the diseases while devoting
around 5% of GDP to health.
This wide disparity in spend means that challenges faced by health systems are somewhat
different in the developing and developed world. DevelopeD WorlD Challenges
In countries with well-established health systems,
the overwhelming challenge is to meet the rising
expectations of citizens while controlling costs to a
manageable level. This situation is made more challenging by chronic conditions such as diabetes and
heart disease, which are increasing in prevalence due
to an aging population, changes in behaviour, eating
habits and lifestyle (figure 1).
Aging populations pose some specific challenges to health systems. While an older population
does not increase medical expenditure directly2, it
does influence the ratio of people who are paying
into the system against those who are consuming
healthcare, so limits affordability of the overall
system. It also influences the type of health challenges. While medical science has been extremely Objectives Developed Countries
Expectations demography Equity/Solidarity
Citizen Satisfaction Rising costs • Increasing usage
• Technical innovation Access and choice Communicable disease
Maternal and child mortality Rising costs • Historical low levels Di erential access • Consumer expectations
• Need to reduce waiting lists • Private care for wealthy
• Limited public provision HEALTH
SYSTEMS Rising expectations • That advanced treatments will be available to all Barriers to reform Una ordable drugs
• World market prices Barriers to reform • Citizen objection to rationalisation
• Entrenched interests • Urban elites protect interests
• Logistics of rural areas Change in scope Professional power • Protection of interests
• Skills shortage & recruitment Developing Countries Epidemiological transition
from communicable diseases
to diseases of lifestyle
and age and mental health Professional power • Low wages
• Poaching by high income countries Sources: “Health Policy Reform” (2005), OECD Health Data, A.T. Kearney analysis Figure 1: Challenges.of.healthcare.systems.in.the.developed.and.developing.world 2 Longevity and Health Care Expenditures: The Real Reasons Older People Spend More, Zhou Yang et al. , Journal of Gerontology: SOCIAL SCIENCES 2003, Vol. 58B, No. 1, S2–S10 .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 5 effective at prolonging life, it has been far less effective in maintaining mental health into old age. A
recent report in the UK concluded that the true
costs of dementia total over £23 billion3, equivalent
to nearly a quarter of the costs of the health system.
The rise in the number of old, frail and confused
individuals, and the failure of past generations to
build a sufficient financial cushion to look after
them, is a problem whose dimensions are only now
Across the developed world there are also still
huge issues of inequality of access to healthcare, as it is
the least well educated and poor — who are least able
to afford healthcare and least engaged with the system
— who most need it. This is causing a widening gap
in life expectancy between rich and poor.
Much of the increase in health expenditure
has come from changes in medical practice and
increases in benefits and technology4,5. It seems
strange that in virtually every other industry, technology has reduced costs, yet in health it has had the opposite effect. However, traditional laws of
supply and demand don’t work in healthcare. Most
healthcare is paid through some form of insurance,
and the poor are cross-subsidised by the wealthy, so
consumers have little incentive to limit consumption.
New technologies are usually more expensive than
old ones are and often add to existing treatments.
As a result, most health payers put in place
mechanisms to control consumption. Mobile health
will need to ensure that it is seen as a cost-effective
approach which is worthy of funding in preference
or in addition to more traditional health services,
rather than yet another technology for beleaguered
health payers to try to afford. Health Expenditure (% GDP) Health Expenditure (per capita US$) Challenges of less Well-establisheD
Outside of the established healthcare systems of the
developed world, circumstances vary widely. However,
a common theme is enormous disparities of health
provision, and a far greater role of consumer payment. 16.9% 9.0%
3.5% 3.9% 4.6% 9.9% $7,830.10
$3,445.90 $3,590.80 11.0% 11.4% 4.9%
$19.50 $44.10 $44.50 $164.50 Bangladesh India China Kenya Japan UK Germany France US Bangladesh Kenya Nurses (per ‘000 population) India China UK Japan Germany France Doctors (per ‘000 population)
7.9 0.1 1.1 1.1 Bangladesh China Kenya 8.0 8.1 9.3 1.6 1.3
France UK US US Japan Germany 0.3 2.2 2.3 Japan UK 3.0 3.5 0.6 Kenya Bangladesh India China US France Germany Source: World Health Organisation, Espicom Figure 2: Comparison.health.spending.and.resources.—.selected.countries.(WHO, Espicom)
5 Dementia 2010. The economic burden of dementia and associated research funding in the United Kingdom; Health Economics Research Centre, University of Oxford for the Alzheimer’s Research Trust;
Ramon Luengo-Fernandez, Jose Leal, Alastair Gray
Why Have Health Expenditures as a Share of GDP Risen So Much? Charles I. Jones, Department of Economics, U.C. Berkeley and NBER; 2004
Who’s Going Broke? Comparing Healthcare Costs in 10 OECD Countries, Christian Hagist, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, NBER; 2005 1 page 6..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? In the poorest countries, the challenge is to build
health infrastructure that is able to deliver an acceptable quality of healthcare to the mass population whilst meeting the growing aspirations of the
emerging middle class. While the rich generally have
access to world-class healthcare through self-pay or
private insurance, the poor have little or no access
to services that would be considered a basic human
right in most developed countries. Against the OECD
average of 10% of GDP, the bottom third spending
countries invest an average of 5.6% GDP in health
and suffer from poor infrastructure, poorly informed
population and lack of health professionals, made
worse by poaching by richer countries (figure 2).
For countries with large rural poor populations,
mobile phones have an important role to play in
providing access to basic healthcare, including
information about avoidance and treatment
of contagious diseases. Examples here include
remote dermatology diagnosis, avoidance of infant
mortality, reminders for tuberculosis therapies, and
warnings of the emergence of diseases such as
cholera as a result of natural disasters.
As wealth increases, disease prevalence (epidemiology) changes — from diseases of poor sanitation and education such as tuberculosis, HIV and
diarrhoea to diseases of the wealthy such as cancer
and diabetes (figure 3). For example, in 2000, there
were estimated to be about 45 million diabetics
in developed countries, or about 4% of the total population of those countries6. A recent UK study
estimates that by 2005, prevalence had increased
to nearly 10%7. In India today, there are 35 million
diabetics, a number that will increase to 80 million
by 2030. If India were able to find a way to manage
diabetics for a tenth of the cost required in the US
today, the bill for treating diabetes in 2030 would
still be equal to the entire Indian healthcare budget
The countries of the Middle East present a
particular challenge and opportunity. The countries
of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)8 are suffering
a dramatic rise in chronic disease, with over 40% of
those over 60 suffering from diabetes and higher
rates of cardiovascular disease than Europe or the
United States. Health systems are developing rapidly
but have not yet matured. There are enormous
opportunities for investment in new technologies
and approaches that address these issues better
than conventional health system structures do.
For some less well-developed countries, the
impact of an aging population is even more severe
than it is in the developed world. For example,
China is aging rapidly, and by 2030 will have broadly
the same age distribution as most Western European countries. Despite the fact that the Chinese
save at over four times the rate of the United States,
with little in the way of any safety net, it is hard to
see how it will deal with the upcoming wave of frail
and elderly. Global Prevalence of Diabetes Estimates for 2000 and Projections for 2030, “Diabetes Care” Wild et al., volume 27, number 5, May 2004
Trends in the Prevalence and Incidence of Diabetes in the United Kingdom 1995-2005, Gonzales et al., Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (online February 2009)
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait
7 .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 7 High-income
countries Deaths in
countries Deaths in
millions Coronary heart disease 1.34 Stroke and other
diseases 3.02 Coronary heart disease 3.10 Stroke and other
diseases 0.77 Coronary heart disease 2.77 Lower respiratory
infections 2.86 Trachea, bronchus and
lung cancers 0.46 Chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease 1.57 HIV/AIDS 2.14 Lower respiratory
infections 0.34 Lower respiratory
infection 0.69 Perinatal conditions 1.83 Chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease 0.30 HIV/AIDS 0.62 Stroke and other
diseases 1.72 Colon and rectum
cancers 0.26 Perinatal conditions 0.60 Diarrheal diseases 1.54 Alzheimer’s and other
dementias 0.22 Stomach cancer 0.58 Malaria 1.24 Diabetes mellitus 0.22 Trachea, bronchus and
lung cancers 0.57 Tuberculosis 1.10 Breast cancer 0.15 Road traffic accidents 0.55 Chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease 0.88 Stomach cancer 0.14 Hypertensive heart
disease 0.54 Road traffic accidents 0.53 All income groups
High and medium only
Medium and low only
Limited to one income group Deaths in
millions Source: World Health Organization Figure 3: .Causes.of.death,.by.high-.middle-.low-income.countries 1 page 8..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? 2. The mobile health promise
sionals, which explains why it often does not take
place. For example, in the US and UK, only two-thirds
of cardiac patients received adequate rehabilitation.
The promise of mobile health is to achieve co-location through the technology solution, allowing
patients and health professionals to interact without
the need to be in the same place. Even when a health
professional is with the patient, he or she can interact
with other parts of the health system remotely,
accessing diagnostic tools, other health professionals,
images and prescribing drugs without needing to be
in a hospital. This has enormous potential to lower
the cost of health interactions all along the patient
pathway, and achieve interactions that would otherwise be impractical (figure 4).
Of course, fixed internet-based technologies
can also reach into the patient’s home, but mobile
health has several overwhelming advantages. the aDvantage of mobile to a health
Healthcare, unlike many other industries, is almost
entirely delivered by physical interaction between
patients and health professionals. Furthermore, the
complexity and specialisation of healthcare means
that many diseases will require multiple professionals
to be engaged in diagnosis, treatment and followup. This means that either patients have to periodically travel to areas where all the health professionals
practice (hospitals and clinics) or professionals have
to travel out to see patients. Both are expensive and
inconvenient for at least one party.
This need for co-location is manageable for
episodic healthcare interactions like surgical operations. However, for chronic diseases which require
constant monitoring, this is not only inconvenient
but also incredibly expensive in time of scarce profes- SOLUTION EXAMPLES • • Portable interconnected devices such
as heart monitor or
Disease and lifestyle
education • Prevention • Number of visits to
the Dr/touch points
with the healthcare
system Same portable devices
backend solution may
allow earlier detection
and diagnosis • Diagnosis •
• Early diagnosis
Number of appointments
(or even unnecessary
tests) Following intervention
(stent, diuretics) and
discharge of patients
from hospital •
• Treatment • Early discharge
freed Remote monitoring
compliance solutions Monitoring • Reduced
admissions HEALTH “VALUE CURRENCY” Figure 4: Potential.applications.of.mobile.health.cardiac.monitor.along.heart.failure.pathway .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 9 Finally, mobile platforms are increasingly ubiquitous. In the UK there are more mobile phones than
people. However, this advantage is even greater in
the developing world, where lack of conventional
internet technology and health infrastructure makes
mobile connectivity the only realistic mechanism
for citizens to access many services. The power of
mobile technology to bring new services to citizens in the developing world is well illustrated by
the example of mobile banking in Kenya, where the
use of bank accounts has tracked the availability of
mobile phones and achieved far higher levels of
penetration than in any Western market (figure 5). Firstly, mobile health is extremely convenient, as it
offers a wide range of mechanisms by which patients
can transact with health professionals, or systems
which act as a proxy for health professionals, wherever they are. These interactions can be quite sophisticated, remote sensors such as heart monitors, smart
pill dispensers, RFID tags which can sense when a pill
has been swallowed, or “smart pills” that can monitor
vital signs as they pass through the body. They can
also be very simple, and include voice, video or textbased messages, net-based information resources, or
reminders generated by expert systems.
Secondly, it allows continuous interaction without restricting the movements of patients, so is a
powerful technology for conditions where such
persistence is important, either for diagnosis or
post-treatment maintenance, such as diabetes,
respiratory, and cardiac disease. In these areas, the
opportunity to ask patients to input data about their
condition or to connect to remote sensors is particularly important. W hat are the Winning appliCations of
For established healthcare systems, the biggest
opportunities are likely to be in the management of
chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease,
respiratory disease and dementia. For all of these,
the ability to monitor vital signs, visually inspect, Cumulative year-on-year growth (indexed scale)
1,100 India mobile 700
600 Kenya mobile 500 Kenya bank 400
300 200 Spain mobile
Spain bank 100
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Sources: Wireless Intelligence; Number of depositors (IMF); A.T. Kearney analysis Figure 5: Growth.of.mobile.banking.and.bank.accounts.—.selected.countries 2 page 10..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? locate the patient, promote effective administration of medicines, and provide remote advice are
the key interventions that will reduce system costs.
All of these diseases tend to have the same risk
factors — smoking, diet, exercise — so any application which is proven to address these is likely to
be popular. Another emerging area to watch is the
use of cognitive therapies to prevent dementia, and
again devices that are proven to help in this area are
likely to generate interest from both health systems
and consumers. Furthermore, by the age of 70 over
30% of people in countries like the UK will suffer from
multiple chronic diseases, so solutions that are able
to provide remote monitoring and management
of multiple co-morbidities are likely to achieve the
highest use and uptake. All of these applications will
be directly or indirectly reimbursable.
Ultimately it is likely that a relatively few“platforms”
will emerge which, like the iPhone, will establish
their position not through a “killer app” but through
the range of applications available. Such platforms
will allow secure connection of multiple devices to
data management and storage systems which can
be interrogated remotely by health professionals or
expert systems. To be successful, connectivity will be critical, both at the “front end” to multiple devices
and the “back end” to clinical systems. There is also
a strong move in healthcare toward “open” systems,
so it is likely that these platforms will be built around
emergent international standards.
In poorer countries, platforms that provide
access to primary healthcare and advice stand a
chance of becoming the predominant mode of
access to healthcare from remote locations in the
same way that mobile finance has largely replaced
the need for physical banks in Kenya. However, the
need for flexibility to address multiple conditions
from infectious disease through to advice on contraception and reducing infant mortality will be key to
establishing widespread scale.
the Conservatism of healthCare
However, while mobile health undoubtedly has
huge potential, healthcare is a conservative industry.
The rate of uptake of innovation is extremely slow
and very different from that of the mobile industry.
For example, the average development cycle of a
new mobile phone is measured in months, while the
average development time for a new drug is around
10-15 years. KEY DATES: Mobile Telephony
rst call on
mobile phone First GSM
in Finland NTT
network IBM shows rst
Smartphone First Blackberry
Smartphone First 3G Network
launched by NTT 1973 1979 1984 1987 1991 1992 1994 1996 2000 2002 2006 2007 2009
Simvastatin proved to
reduce heart attacks by 42% Research on
starts in Japan Study proving
but not widely
accepted iPhone Merck launches
Mevacor (lovastatin) Global sales
exceed $25bn Zocor goes
o patent KEY DATES: Statin Development
Figure 6: Development.cycle.of.statins.compared.to.mobile.telephony 2012
o patent .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 11 The history of statins, one the of great success
stories of post-war medicine, illustrates this development cycle well. Statins are a type of drug
that control the level of cholesterol in the blood,
resulting in a dramatic reduction in the incidence
of heart disease. In the United States alone, 40
million patients regularly take statins, and in 2009
total global sales topped $25 billion.
While this is a great success story, despite
there being overwhelming evidence of effectiveness since 1994 and after two decades and billions
of dollars spent on marketing and sales, only half
of patients who would benefit from statins in the
United States take the drugs.
In fact, the history of statins goes back to 1973,
which is the same year as the first mobile phone
was demonstrated in Bell Labs (figure 6). So a technology which is both cheap and effective and is as old as the entire mobile industry has still not yet
been fully adopted.
Of the many reasons for this slow uptake of
technology, an important one is that new technologies are literally a matter of life and death. So the
burden of proof that something works and is safe
is very high — a burden of proof which has shaped
the mindset of the industry.
This conservatism can be frustrating. The principle of “build and they will come” generally does
not work, and achieving uptake takes a lot of effort.
In the rest of this paper, we will explore how operators can best navigate the barriers to uptake of
innovation, in particular the problems of reimbursement and commercial viability. We will start with a
discussion about how financial flows work in health
systems, then examine different ways in which
operators can access the market. 2 page 12..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? 3. Who pays for what?
good health outcomes at a system level9. Many
developing countries have “free market” systems
for the rich, but this is generally unaffordable for
• National Insurance: Multiple, highly regulated
insurers compete with each other to provide
standardised coverage, adjusted so that risk is
equalised across the population. Premiums are
paid by employers or citizens and often subsidised
through general taxation. Participation by citizens
is generally compulsory. Both insurers and health
providers might be not-for-profits or private. The
first system of this type was developed in Germany in the 1890s, so these are often referred to
as “Bismarck” systems. They are more efficient and
equitable than “free market” systems, but still incur a significant cost in administration. Many developing countries have national insurance-type
systems for groups of citizens such as civil servants and armed forces. HEALTH
ECOSYSTEM acy Pharm ASTRUCTU nt/
e IN FR l
FR RE nd
re RE co IN al
Su Se Government
Agencies DevelopeD WorlD health eCosystems
Healthcare ecosystems vary widely between countries and are extremely complex, with a wide variety
of stakeholders and players (figure 7). While healthcare systems are all different, they fall into relatively
few “archetypes” characterised by the way funds are
distributed by health payers, and their relationship
to the health providers – hospitals, clinics, doctors,
nurses and therapists.
• Free Market: All healthcare is delivered by private health insurance companies contracting
with private or not-for-profit health providers for
delivery of services. Premiums are paid by citizens or employers, and in most cases, the state
subsidises at least some of the poor, old and disadvantaged populations. This system is largely
confined to the United States as it has proven to
be difficult to control costs, it is very expensive
to administer and it results in a high level of inequality of access, while not delivering particularly nce s
Re od fes
se ies sio
ar , n
. Figure 7: Players.in.the.health.ecosystem 9 Mirror Mirror on the Wall; An international update on the comparative performance of American Health Care – Commonwealth Health Fund, 2007 .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 13 • National Health Systems (NHS): A single
health payer system that provides healthcare
to all its citizens, funded through either general
taxation or a nominal “national insurance” payment, with the government effectively acting
as a monopoly insurer. The first example of this
system emerged post-war in the UK, so these
are often known as “Beveridge” systems, named
for the economist who proposed the system.
Health providers are often a mixed economy
of state, not-for-profit and private ownership,
though the trend is to encourage private sector
participation. They are the most cost-efficient
of all systems as total expenditure can easily be
controlled through fixed budgets, and with no
claims to process, administration costs are lower.
However, they are not as popular with citizens as
insurance systems as they can be unresponsive
to customer needs10. Many developing countries
use a simple “NHS” type system to deliver basic
care to the poor, while the rich pay privately.
Within these basic three types of system there
are a bewildering number of hybrids and variants. Furthermore, as health systems seek to control costs
and drive up quality, they tend to borrow mechanisms from each other, and, over time, converge in
terms of how they operate11.
For mobile health solution providers, the architecture of the system is important as it influences
who might buy solutions and what health payers
value (figure 8). In many — but not all — insurancebased systems, patients pay for healthcare and
then reclaim from the insurer, so they are more
active participants in their choice of healthcare. The
focus of health payers is on managing down the
cost of claims and establishing competitive advantage against other insurers. As citizens are generally
free to change insurers at any time, insurers have
limited incentive to invest in prevention of disease
or public health.
In NHS systems, healthcare is usually provided
free of charge, so mobile health solutions must be
sold to health payers or health providers. Patients
are often unaware of costs, and may or may not
be offered choices of treatment. Payers tend to be
more focused on managing system costs, improving
access and public health. Universal Healthcare
Single-payer universal healthcare
Some form of universal healthcare
Universal healthcare in transition
No universal healthcare or no data Figure 8: Healthcare.systems.by.archetype.(Source: chartsbin.com, various sources) 10
11 Bismarck or Beveridge: A beauty contest between dinosaurs Jouke van der Zee and Madelon W. Kroneman
Healthcare Out of Balance — how global forces will reshape the health of nations, A.T. Kearney 2008. page 14..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? The boundaries of health systems are often unclear,
in particular with social care. Social care is a substantial and growing area of expenditure, usually funded
separately from health, often through regional
agencies. Of particular interest for mobile health
is elderly care, where a basic “safety net” is supplemented by funding from families or individual
savings. The growth in dementia in particular is
causing a rapid “medicalisation” of long-term elderly
care, which most systems are singularly ill-equipped
to deal with. While social care is funded separately,
it is closely linked to health services, as failures in
social care inevitably end up with the individuals
being returned to the care of the health system. This
distinction between health and social care funding
is critical when considering mobile health applications such as a location services for older people.
There are similar overlaps with education in the
area of learning disabilities, and with criminal justice
in areas of mental health and addiction. Understanding exactly which agency pays for what in any
particular country is critical for gaining reimbursement for any new technology.
In looking at where the money gets spent, the
vast majority of health spend goes to treatment in
hospitals and clinics, with a significant expenditure on elderly care in residential homes (figure 9). A
major cost lever for health payers is to keep patients
out of these expensive institutions, which means
that number of admissions and length of stay are
important “currencies” in which benefits of a health
solution need to be expressed.
h oW healthCare is paiD for by the system
Whatever the system, the most important features
of mobile health are the way that payments work
between the citizen, the health payer and the health
provider, and the reimbursement model.
Payers, through collection of premiums or taxes
on citizens, have a risk pool of money from which
health and social services need to be paid. However,
there is an inequality in power between health
payers and health providers, as health providers
have far greater expertise to judge what services
should be provided to a particular patient. Reimbursement systems are often based on activity,
meaning that health providers have few financial
incentives to prevent the need for treatment, or
to limit how much care is actually delivered. As a
consequence, in the United States, where there are
few incentives for health providers to be conservative in treatment, there are double the number of Other
administration, insurance Hospitals Nursing/
administration, provision Ambulatory
care Figure 9: Spend.breakdown.in.health.and.social.care.systems.(Germany, 2007. Source: WHO) .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 15 MRI and CT scans compared to the average across
OECD countries, double the number of revascularisations and 55% more knee replacements12, many
of which are interventions of dubious clinical value.
Payers adopt a range of approaches to address
the problem. Payers can incentivise citizens to
use health resources carefully by asking them to
contribute to their care through co-payments. If well
designed, these can encourage patients to use costeffective technologies, look after themselves better
and take medicines properly13. However, they can
also result in patients putting off treatment, which
can increase costs in the long term14. Payers can also
encourage competition and choice between health
providers, and specify how care should be delivered.
However, the main tool to control costs is
the reimbursement system, which funds specific
treatments or not depending on whether they
are deemed to be cost-effective, and incentivises
health providers to control costs and use the most
effective treatment by transferring at least some of
the financial risk to them. There is also a trend to
align financial incentives with health outcomes,
though this proves difficult to achieve in practice.
Social care systems are usually funded separately and vary widely in their scope and generosity.
They tend to provide a range of reimbursable services, and vary in the degree to which they are reactive to need or proactive in preventing problems.
Social care includes the most mature of all mobile
health applications in the form of “social alarms” for
the elderly. Uptake varies between countries, with
Spain and the UK having the highest penetration in
Europe at 15% of eligible population, but with far
lower levels of 3% or less in other countries such as
Germany and France. Most are provided by social
care or housing services, and funding routes vary
from public funds in Germany and Denmark, to
public financing with user co-payment across the
rest of Europe and Japan, and private payment in
the United States15.
Any health technology which is to be paid for
by the health system needs to be compatible with this reimbursement system. A technology can be
directly reimbursed by health payers, or indirectly
reimbursed by being bought by health providers,
who are themselves reimbursed by health payers.
In the next chapter we will look in detail at how this
works and its implications for mobile health solution providers.
h ealthCare funDing in less WellestablisheD markets
Outside of the major established health systems, there
are a wide range of circumstances, from the poorest
countries with very little in the way of health infrastructure to rapidly developing markets which have
not yet created mature health systems (figure 10).
Within the poorest countries, healthcare funding comes from individuals, the state and nongovernmental-organisations, and focuses on basic
healthcare. For example, in Kenya funding is split
evenly between households (36%), state (29%) and
As countries become wealthier, they tend to
spend disproportionately more on health than on
other consumer items. However, state funding of
healthcare tends to lag overall consumption, so
healthcare in developing countries is much more
oriented toward self-pay. For example, between
2000 and 2015, consumer spending on healthcare
services is forecast to increase 130% in India, nearly
80% in China, and over 70% in Thailand.
As state funding increases, developing countries start to put in place universal healthcare, either
modelled on NHS-type systems (such as in Brazil),
compulsory private insurance (as in the GCC) or lowcost social insurance such as that found in China. At
the same time, private insurance for wealthy citizens
funds investment in private hospitals which can
often be “state of the art” and totally unaffordable to
the general population.
Providers of mobile health solutions in developing countries will need to decide which segment
of the population they are targeting. The rich will
have needs similar to those in the developed world. Mark Pearson, Health Division, OECD; Why does the US spend so much more than other countries?
For example: Evidence That Value-Based Insurance Can Be Effective; Michael E. Chernew et al; Health Affairs February 2010
Increased ambulatory care co-payments and hospitalizations amongst the elderly A.N Trivedi et. al New England Journal of Medicine, 2010
ICT and Aging, European Study on Users, Markets and Technologies, European Commission January 2010
13 page 16..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? For the poor, applications will need to use simple
technologies (e.g., SMS) to address basic health
problems, such as tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment monitoring, or education on preventing
infant mortality. Many of these programs will be
paid for by NGOs. In China, health spend is increasingly
nanced by private citizens The needs of the emerging middle class are less clear,
but perhaps the most exciting. The way may be
open to establish mobile health as a viable alternative to traditional methods of health delivery without
any of the institutional reluctance to adopt innovation found in more established health systems. In India as well, the already large private
nancing burden has increased
1 Social Security 19 Social Security 25 19 Government 76 Out-of-Pocket 6 5 Other (Insurance) 1995 23 32 1 2006 Government 18
46 3 54 4
1995 Out-of-Pocket Other (Insurance)
2006 In Russia, the state’s historically large health role
is shrinking while individuals nance the gap 24 27 Brazil is the exception, with government health
expenditure as a share of total on the rise Social Security
13 1995 36 30
7 Government (1) 39 46 48 33 Out-of-Pocket 18 19 Other (Insurance) 1995 2006 Government
Other (Insurance) 2006 (1) No separate social security category for Brazil’s public health expenditures
Source: World Health Organization Figure 10: Growth.of.self-pay.in.the.developing.world .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 17 4. Getting reimbursement for mobile
As we have described, the vast majority of global
health spend is focused on reimbursed healthcare
within established systems. This chapter focuses on
the specific challenges of accessing this market.
Creating value Within the health system
To achieve widespread uptake within a reimbursed
system, a mobile health solution must deliver
healthcare more cost effectively than existing solutions. It can do this by being a lower cost way of
delivering a given health outcome, and in this case it
is critical to understand who will realise the financial
gain. Alternatively, it can provide additional health
outcomes at an incremental cost, and in this case
it will need to demonstrate that it is “good value” in
health economics terms (figure 11).
In practice a number of factors play into the
decision as to whether a particular technology will
be funded by payers:
• Willingness to pay: Is this an area where the
system is prepared to invest? While the theory of
health economics is that judgements are based
on rational trade-offs, in practice every society Sources of value creation
from a mobile health solution FINANCIAL and organisation has beliefs about what should
be a priority. For example, air ambulances and
treatment of many rare diseases have a low economic return, but are often funded nevertheless.
• Budget constraints: A technology may be cost
effective, but it will not be funded if there is no
additional money to pay for it, especially if some
up-front payment is required for future returns.
This is particularly an issue in budget driven NHS
type health systems.
• Pathway considerations: Whether the intervention is preventative, curative, or designed for
maintenance will determine how important it is
seen to be, with investments in treatment typically taking priority.
• Innovation value: While health systems are conservative in uptake of technology, most recognize
the need for innovation and differentially fund
experimental technologies, in particular where
there is no existing proven solution. Some health
economics valuation methodologies include an
“innovation premium”, which can make a big difference in the decision whether to fund or not. Mobile health solution uptake
depends on who realises the bene ts OUTCOMES
Positive Resources Life years Costs Morbidity Financial
Gain Experience Negative Activities Neutral Positive Health Outcome Gain Figure 11: Type.of.value.created.by.a.mobile.health.application 4 page 18..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? impossibly complicated, not least because patients
often have more than one disease. A consequence
of compromises required to build practical reimbursement systems is that the actions of one agency
often benefit another agency, and sometimes an
agency will need to act against its own interest to
benefit the patient and system overall.
For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a difficult disease to recognise, and typically less than
half of people with the disease are diagnosed
correctly. However, both patients and the overall
system benefit from early intervention. One solution is for rheumatologists to train and remotely
support primary care physicians to recognise the
early stages of disease (an obvious area for mobile
health), and indeed when they did this in Spain,
diagnosis rates doubled. However, rheumatologists
generally practice in hospitals, and are only reimbursed when a patient is severely ill enough to be
referred to hospital for treatment — a positive disincentive for treatment in primary care.
At the other end of the disease pathway, mobile
health can help with early discharge of patients from
hospital after treatment. However, if the hospital • Tangible value creation: Value that can be
measured and realised such as costs or lives
saved will always have priority over less well
defined areas such as broader social value. The
more tangible and short term the measure and
greater the level of proof, the more likely a technology is to be funded.
• Funding flows and reimbursement model:
This will determine which party will financially
benefit from any potential solution, and therefore who is likely to be interested in buying it.
Of all of these, it is the last two which are both the
most important and the most complicated and
which will be investigated in more detail in the
unDerstanDing Who benefits finanCially
Reimbursement systems try to align incentives
between health payers and health providers to
provide the most appropriate care to patients in
the most cost effective way. The problem is that
each disease has a quite different dynamic in how
it is treated, and optimising payment systems for
every disease would make reimbursement systems Mobile health solution improves
treatment compliance of patients
with a particular disease and
therefore reduces the chances of
having emergency admissions POPULATION RISK
Cost/Bene t = Number
of patients Mobile health solution provides
preventive advice which avoids
having as many citizens going
into doctors or hospitals x DELIVERY
EFFICIENCY PATHWAY EFFICIENCY
(per patient) x Number of
(per visit) Mobile health solution allows
remote monitoring of patients
in a particular disease and
subsequently reduces the number
of outpatient appointments x Cost
per activity Mobile health solution allows
inpatients being discharged
earlier from hospitals with a
portable device connected to the
mobile phone Examples of mobile health solutions Figure 12: Sources.of.value Mobile health solution provides
automatic data collection from
patient held devices and passes
information to doctors, rather
than patients having to
self-read and phone doctors .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 19 is paid a sum for each night a patient spends in
hospital, the health payer and patient benefits, but
the hospital loses revenue.
There are two key factors that determine who
potentially benefits from any novel technology;
how the value is created, and exactly how the reimbursement system distributes risk. Financial value
can be created by (figure 12):
and.so.reducing.the.number.of.patients 2. Reducing.the.number.of.times.people.
interact.with.the.system 3. Reducing.the.number.of.activities..
which.are.carried.out 4. Reducing.the.cost.of.delivery.. Taking a cardiac disease patient as an example, a
mobile health application could help people avoid
disease by giving advice on healthy diet, automatically log cholesterol levels so avoiding trips to the
doctor, allowing multiple readings to be carried
out at the same time (cholesterol, electrocardiogram, blood pressure, heart rate), or allowing early PAYER discharge after an operation. Who benefits from
each of these sources of value will depend on the
degree to which the reimbursement system associated with that particular disease has passed risk
from the health payer to the health provider.
In the simplest systems, health providers are paid
retrospectively for the work they do — so-called “feefor-service” — provided they use reimbursable procedures and technologies (figure 13). This payment
system is simple to administer, but requires robust
mechanisms to prevent over-treatment, which
are often very unpopular with both providers and
patients. However, its flexibility means that complex
treatments are often reimbursed on this basis.
At the opposite extreme, health payers can pass
virtually all the risk for treatment to the health
provider by using a prospective payment such as
capitated payments or global budgets. Payers give
health providers a fixed fee for a group of citizens,
and the health providers are obliged to treat them
no matter what is wrong with them, using whatever
treatment they deem to be most suitable.
The risk here is one of under-treatment, so
control mechanisms focus on measuring quality Where the burden of risk lies in the reimbursement system PROVIDER Risk at the payer side
Risk at the provider side
capitation • Simple, easy to administer
• Excessive (uncontrolled)
use of resources A myriad
in between • Eﬃcient use of resources
• Potential for patient selection,
under-treatment Figure 13: Transferring.risk.from.payers.to.providers 4 page 20..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? of outcome and care standards, which are difficult
to measure. Some systems such as those in the UK,
Germany and France include incentive payments
for activities such as chronic disease management.
This type of system is often used for primary care
finDing the right Customer
Determining whether the customer for a mobile
health solution is a health payer or health provider
will be driven by who bears the risk. Unfortunately,
there are a wide range of different ways to distribute
risk between the extremes of fee-for-service and
capitation, and we have used three examples of
such intermediate arrangements to illustrate how
value shifts (figure 14):
• Resource Based Tariff is a retrospective system
that pays an agreed amount to deliver a particular type of treatment, described by Health Related
Groups (HRGs) as used in the UK or Disease Related
Groups (DRGs) as used in Australia and Germany.
The fee is typically calculated on the average cost
of treating the disease, reset on an annual basis. These work best where treatment packages can
be well defined, such as elective surgical procedures.
• Normative Tariff is a more sophisticated approach which bases the payment on the cost of
a “best practice” treatment (typical top quartile)
and is limited to treatments where it is feasible to
define what “best practice” is.
• Year of Care is a prospective system which is
emerging as a payment mechanism for chronic
diseases. Providers take responsibility for all aspects of care for a group of patients with a particular disease for an annual fee per patient. It
encourages health providers to take a more holistic approach to management of the patient, but
requires tight definition of outcomes and disease
states. This is being experimented with in several
These two dimensions of “source of value” and
“reimbursement mechanism” will define who will
benefit from a specific mobile health application.
At either end of the reimbursement continuum it is
quite simple. Under fee-for-service, health providers Risk at the payer side
Cost/Bene t Fee for
of patients Resource
based tari (activity-based) Risk at the provider side
tari (activity-based) Year
of care (activity-based) Global
(per patient) Pathway
Eﬃciency PAYER PROPOSITION PROVIDER PROPOSITION x
per activity Delivery
Eﬃciency For a particular reimbursement system, who realises the value
depends on the mobile health value proposition Figure 14: Financial.beneficiaries.by.type.of.reimbursement.system.and.source.of.value For a particular
who realises the
value depends on
the reimbursement system .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 21 are paid for what they do, and will not necessarily
benefit from mobile health applications unless
specifically identified as reimbursable services,
so the health payer is generally the customer. At
the other extreme, under capitation systems, risk is
transferred to the health provider, so they are the
ones that benefit financially from any improvements
in efficiency and effectiveness. However, between
these two extremes of risk transfer, it becomes more
nuanced with a shift toward a provider proposition
as risk is transferred.
To address the limitations of traditional fee for
service and tariff-based systems, health payers are
starting to introduce specific tariffs for electronic
interventions to encourage their uptake. The US is
taking a lead in this. For example, in May 2010, the
American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates passed a resolution stating that insurers should
reimburse for email consultations. There are now 12
states in the United States that require insurers to
pay for telehealth consultations. It is likely that more
and more systems will introduce such tariffs, though
the speed of uptake will vary by country. Di erent types of studies generate
di erent types of evidence In general, the more comprehensive and flexible the
reimbursement system, the easier it will be for novel
technologies to achieve uptake. It is quite noticeable that the largest truly integrated health system
in the United States, the Veterans Administration, has
probably the largest and most integrated example of
telehealth in the world through its Care Coordination Telehealth, which manages 30,000 citizens with
chronic disease. As chronic diseases are increasingly
recognised as the key drivers of health expenditure, reimbursement systems are likely to shift more
and more risk to integrated groups of primary and
secondary care providers, meaning that in the longer
term, mobile health is likely to become an increasingly health provider-focused proposition.
measuring value of a mobile health solution
Solutions which purport to improve health outcomes
must prove value for money against existing treatment approaches. The robustness of this analysis and
the level of data required varies by country, the type
of acceptance being sought, and who the customer
is likely to be (figure 15). The level of evidence required varies per market, as it varies
the threshold at which solutions are considered worthwhile Referenceability Not randomized
controlled trials Uncontrolled
and multiple time
series trials Expert opinions Low
Low Health Technology
Assessment e.g. UK,
Australia, Canada E ort required to produce evidence High Figure 15: Assessing.health.value Clinical and economic
outcomes based negotiations e.g. France Not so standardized
evidence based negotiations e.g. Spain, Italy Negotiations Multi-center
cohort and case control
one-o case studies
and pilots Burden of “proof” Randomized
controlled trials High e.g. Developing
markets 4 page 22..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? If the objective is to get a technology reimbursed
directly by health payers, then some form of formal
health economic assessment is very likely. Countries
such as the UK have been pioneers in the science of
Health Technology Assessment (HTA), and the UK’s
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has
robust and transparent processes to both evaluate
the quality of evidence of efficacy, and to assess if a
technology represents value for money. The ultimate
measure of effectiveness is the cost of providing a
Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) against existing
treatments. Getting a new technology through this
process is time consuming and complex, but results
in an appropriate adjustment of tariffs and treatment guidelines. Any solution going through such a
process will almost certainly be classified as a medical
device, so will need to overcome all the regulatory
hurdles this entails. Also, most of the evaluative
approaches have been developed for pharmaceutical products, and these may not be appropriate for
The approach to value evaluation varies by
country. Germany, through its IQWiG institute, has a
robust analysis process like the UK, Italy’s assessment
is strongly weighted on innovation, France uses
health economics as an input to a reimbursement
decision, while Spain is often characterised by assessments at both national and regional levels. In the
United States, HTA is still emergent, and the approach
taken varies by health plan. In developing countries,
such evaluations are usually somewhat informal.
However, if the objective is to persuade local
health payers or health providers to consider the
technology as part of their overall approach to
delivering care rather than to getting specific reimbursement, the burden of proof is lower. Pilots and
demonstrators can be valuable, but it is important
that the purpose of such pilots is not just to prove the
technology operates successfully, but that the solu- tion delivers health outcomes and financial benefits
in the real world. All such evaluations are best seen
as support for marketing of the solutions, and will not
by themselves result in widespread acceptance.
The burden of proof required to support widespread uptake of a new technology should not be
underestimated, and moving from a pilot to roll-out
often proves to be quite challenging. Before starting
pilots, it is worth investing time to understand the
needs of the authorities and customers who will
determine if a new technology is to be used. It is also
important to engage appropriate health economics
experts to ensure the data collection and analysis
is robust, as methodological weaknesses can easily
destroy the value of a trial.
Whether to seek reimbursement or not?
Gaining reimbursement directly from health payers
is a complicated and time consuming exercise. It
needs to be addressed application by application
and market by market. However, the benefits of
doing so are huge. Gaining formal reimbursement
status makes the technology widely available and
gaining reimbursement in one system makes it
much easier to achieve in the next.
However, mobile health solutions do not
necessarily need to be accepted by health payers
to achieve success in a reimbursed system.
Providers will purchase technologies regardless
of whether they are reimbursable provided they
make commercial sense. Reimbursement systems
that are flexible and transfer high levels of risk to
health providers are therefore generally beneficial
to mobile health.
Ultimately, if mobile health is to realise its full
potential, then it will need to be accepted by reimbursed health systems as a mainstream technology.
However, there are other potential customers, and
these will be discussed in the next chapter. .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 23 5. Who else buys mobile health solutions?
other Customers in the DevelopeD WorlD
While the majority of healthcare expenditure in
the developed world is reimbursed, significant
sums are spent outside of the main health system
Consumers are becoming increasingly engaged
in taking responsibility for their own health, often
encouraged by governments. Some 26% of the
65 plus population in the US look for health advice
online, with ~110 million North Americans classed as
“cyberchondriacs”16. As a result, expenditure on “wellness” related products is growing rapidly (figure 17).
When thinking about consumers it is important
to distinguish between solutions which are true
consumer services, and those which are professionally recommended to consumers by health professionals; doctors, nurses, therapists, dentists or insurance companies. True consumer solutions in the developed world
tend to focus on wellness. Though this seems an
attractive market for operators who are familiar
with consumer marketing and sales, solutions must
compete for “share of wallet” against other wellness
categories, and pricing is increasingly conditioned by
the ready availability of cheap iPhone apps.
Probably of more interest is the “professionally
recommended” segment, where solutions are paid
for by customers on the specific recommendation
of health professionals, often focused on people
who are on the cusp between “well” and “ill”. These
“consumer health” markets are increasingly being
targeted by consumer goods companies as growth
rates and margins are higher than traditional
consumer products. Opportunities are greatest in
systems where there are high co-pays, or where
the scope of services covered by reimbursement USA Where is
the money? $4,200bn1)
productivity Indirect spend
and costs Wellness ~50% government funded W. Europe 28% Mostly government funded APAC 14% Mostly consumer funded ROW Directly attributable
to healthcare 47% 12% 2) 2%
capital Employer/insurer market Consumer
provision Social care $12+bn Consumer
(USA) Etc. Families/carers $112bn Consumer
(USA) Etc. Etc.
Source s: 1) Espicom; 2) World Economic Forum; 3) Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), 2002 Harris Poll®; PLMA, Planet Retail 2007; 4) Credit Suisse Figure 16: Sources.of.health.spending 16 Results of Harris Poll® conducted in 2002 5 page 24..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? systems is limited. While at the moment in established systems there is still an expectation that “the
system will pay”, as governments seek to control
costs there may be increasing areas where self-pay
becomes more prevalent.
Employers are increasingly recognising the cost
of poor employee health, with an estimated 2% of
capital spent on the workforce lost on employee
disability17 and over 40% of lost work time being
accounted for by chronic disease and significant
lost time and productivity due to stress. As a result,
around half of all multinationals offer some form of
wellness program and are potentially prepared to
pay for mobile health services18.
In some recent work carried out by A.T. Kearney,
employers in five European countries were surveyed
on their interest in buying a mobile wellness solution
for their employees, and over two thirds expressed a
willingness to pay for such a solution, with willingness to pay increasing with the “richness” of the solution. Employers saw a range of potential benefits
which included the ability to attract employees in a
competitive market place, as well as more tangible
impacts to change employee behaviour to reduce ill
health and absence (figure 18). There are two major benefits of targeting employers.
Firstly, they are often willing to pay for solutions
which significantly reduce their business costs.
Secondly, they potentially allow access to a large
number of consumers with a single transaction.
Against this, complex mobile health solutions are
likely to be attractive primarily to larger companies,
and the range of solutions they are interested in is
likely to be quite specific and focused on risk factors
which drive productivity and absence.
Accessing employers requires quite a distinct
channel strategy. Most health services are bought
through insurance companies or benefits consultancies and operators will need to access the HR
executives who buy health services.
Pharmaceutical companies are very interested in solutions which increase the value of their
medicines, in particular by helping to diagnose
patients and by encouraging patients to take their
medicines. Solutions may be provided to patients
and healthcare professionals free of charge, or to be
added into service “packages” with the medicine. A
brief scan of iPhone applications provided by pharmaceutical companies illustrates their interest in
this space (figure 19). Health and Wellness Industry
Sales (US in $ billions, growth percentage) 5% Functional/Forti ed Foods/Beverages
+9% $112 120 18% Organic Foods/Beverages 100
Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements 7% 60 Natural Foods/Beverages 4% 40 Natural/Organic Personal Care 7% 80 20
0 Natural/Organic General Merchandise
2007 2008 32%
$0 $10 $20 $30 $40 $50 Figure 17: Growth.in.US.expenditure.on.health.and.wellness.consumer.products19 Working towards Wellness, accelerating the prevention of Chronic Disease, World Economic Forum
Source: Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, 2006. USA – Credit Suisse) – A.T. Kearney analysis
Source: Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), 2002 Harris Poll® ; , PLMA, Planet Retail 2007, A.T. Kearney Analysis
18 .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 25 Partnering with pharmaceutical companies has
the great advantage that they have access to key
medical opinions, health payers and doctors, and
have all the systems in place to ensure patient
safety. They are also global in reach and familiar
with the processes of establishing proof of efficacy.
However, many pharmaceutical companies are
focused on developing their specific therapies, so
may not be that interested in developing broader
mobile health applications.
Customers in less Well establisheD markets
Much of the discussion in the previous section
has been focused on achieving reimbursement
in countries with well established health systems.
While developing countries account for relatively
little spend today, they represent the greatest areas
of spending growth.
In poorer countries, NGOs are significant
customers of mass market mobile health solutions.
These are usually quite simple SMS based solutions
addressing basic health needs. While not as directly rewarding to shareholders, such projects clearly
contribute enormously to the health of populations
and reflect well on the corporate responsibility of
the operators involved. Such projects need a somewhat different commercial approach, and operators
will need to expect to share the benefits to help
address health inequalities. However, in the longer
term, they help establish a powerful mobile brand
and position companies well to play a major role in
the development of local health systems.
The role of consumers in countries with less
well established health systems is potentially more
significant than the state dominated health systems
of the Western World. The emerging middle class
has not been conditioned to expect state payment
for healthcare, and may well prove more avid
buyers of consumer health solutions. The “professionally recommended consumer segment” is also
likely to emerge as a significant market. However,
as soon as consumers become wealthy enough to
afford insurance then the dynamics are likely to shift
toward those of more established markets. Sources of value creation from a mobile health solution 20%
17% 16% 16%
14% 5% Corporate
brand image Employee
rate 5% 5% Early
costs Figure 18: Employers’.assessment.of.potential.impact.of.a.mobile.health.solution. 5 page 26..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? App Scope
Healthcare Professionals Disease speci c • Real-time tracking of lab results
• Information and news Johnson & Johnson General Public •
• Roche Prognosis calculator
Decision making tools Product speci c
sano aventis •
• Health record / information
Food tracker, restaurant locator
Johnson & Johnson P zer sano aventis •
• Product dosage calculator
Disease progression calculator Novartis Johnson & Johnson Roche •
• Patients Target Audience General Disease awareness
Clinical trials locator
Specialist search engine
Johnson & Johnson •
• Educational games
News and information
Message boards MERCK Shire Novartis • Medication tracker, reminders
and connect to healthcare team
Novartis Novartis sano aventis Source: First World, InPharm, A.T. Kearney analysis Figure 19: Functionalities.of.Rx.iPhone.apps.by.large.pharma.companies.as.of.July.2010 “Heart monitor”
Illustrative Example r
com d as
for p ponent
e i n g e ll ”
Consumer product co
branding Figure 20: Value.propositions.tailored.to.each.customer.segment Sp
e n rts p e
h a rf o
nce r m an
m en ce
t b ac
” (own brrianutiony dphaemailcy
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an cen “W E .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 27 6. Building a scale mobile health business
an inDustry in early Development
Mobile health is still in the early stages of development and it is likely to be years before the industry
reaches maturity. Although operators have global
aspirations for their mobile health businesses, solutions have not yet reached scale. • Currently, very few mobile health solutions are
directly reimbursed by health payers. Most are
targeted at health providers or as consumer
products. • Most services are at the “pilot” stage, or have only
a few installations, and few are fully commercially
established. Most are limited to the “home”
market and have not yet been internationalised. • In the developed world, few operators provide
clinical content or services. Where this is the case,
however, services are simple and focused on
wellness and consumer-type propositions. • In the developing world, more clinically intense
solutions are being provided. These are generally
supplied by healthcare company partner
Taking into consideration all the factors outlined in
this paper, we believe there are six key factors that
operators need to consider to build a scale mobile
1. Building scalable solutions 2. Deciding the role of the operator 3. Finding the right partners 4. Developing appropriate distribution and
commercial models 5. Building the right infrastructure 6. Defining the right path builDing sCalable solutions
A single mobile health technology can have multiple
applications, but the approach and commercial
model varies by application and by country. Each
application needs a clear value proposition, with
robust evidence to prove that it works.
The situation is analogous to that found in the
pharmaceutical industry. Core technologies have
multiple applications called “indications”. Clinical
trials need to be carried out to prove each indication
in turn before it is licensed for use, and pharmaceutical companies plan to increase the number of indications over time, starting with those which have
the highest demonstrated benefit and demand.
Operators should see mobile health in a similar
way, as a series of “layered” solutions, where core
technologies are linked to a range of applications
focused on different customer objectives, with a
specific value proposition tailored to the particular
customer segment and funding model (figure 20).
As the solution moves nearer to the customer, it
needs to become more specialised and localised,
with a wider range of partners and business models.
While the overall approach to scalability should
be considered early on, the approach to roll-out
will typically need to be done application-by-application and country-by-country, focusing on areas
where there are the highest unmet health needs
which are most accessible to operators. Most operators we talked to had started with less clinically
critical applications, and in their home country.
Each of the applications will need to be supported by robust proof of efficacy, demonstrating
that the technologies can address unmet health
needs and reduce costs, and operators should pace
their expansion plans to build this body of evidence.
The technical robustness of the solutions will be
an absolute requirement, including the ability to
integrate with a wide range of clinical systems of
varying levels of sophistication. 6 page 28..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? This need for proof and robustness has an impact on
product lifecycles. Healthcare buyers are unlikely to
be interested in the technology itself, and very wary
of “cutting-edge technology” which would usually
translate as “unproven”. Incremental innovation off
a proven platform is likely to be the most attractive
positioning. Common standards will be critical to
building scalable solutions by enabling interoperability of devices and systems and common solutions
across markets. Healthcare providers have an expectation of a fairly long life from investment in technology, and are loath to make major investments
in proprietary technology. The uptake of digitised
Picture Archiving and Communication Systems
(PACS) has been accelerated by the introduction
of the DICOM standard for medical images. Similar
standards for device connectivity and interfaces to
core clinical systems will be important, and operators should ensure that solutions are consistent
with emergent standards such as HL7 (a messaging
standard for medical devices), ICD10 (which describe
disease states) and SNOMED CT (which classifies
DeCiDing the role of the operator
In discussions with mobile operators questioned
as research for this paper, we discovered a wide
range of business and commercial models. To build
a significant business they would need to provide
value-added services rather than a basic mobile
proposition. In talking to operators, services offered
fell into several layers:
• Layer 1: Core Telecoms. Areas that all operators felt comfortable with providing included
traditional services of connectivity, hosting, billing, data management and security. A good example was an operator who had developed a
partnership with a medical device manufacturer
to provide the communication infrastructure for
a remote heart monitor. The medical device
company marketed and sold the service.
• Layer 2: Regulated Health Services. Some
operators were providing services that required
specific regulatory approval. One operator was
re-selling medical devices. Several operators had gained registration for holding of clinical patient
data in specific countries, which is a significant
step both in the investment required and the
services it allows operators to provide. Several
operators were also planning to develop various
“platforms” to enable communication between
medical devices and health professionals.
• Layer 3: Clinical Services. Most operators
were very wary of providing clinical services.
However, we came across an example of an operator providing software to guide rehabilitation
plans for doctors, though none who had yet
hired health professionals to provide advice.
The main issue that prevented operators from
delivering “richer” clinical services were concerns
not only about core competencies, but also about
the risks inherent in providing healthcare services.
Indeed, several operators had decided to limit
themselves to wellness applications which they
saw as lower risk than clinical applications. The
ability to manage clinical risk appropriately is an
important issue for all healthcare providers. Defensive medicine in the United States costs $55 billion
annually, while even the far less litigious UK sets
aside nearly £800 million a year for negligence
claims. However, all businesses involve managing
risks, and the costs that a system is prepared to
pay for a health solution tend to increase with
the severity of the condition. Being able to both
understand and manage the risks of such services
appropriately is an important part of the commercial model.
Generally, risks increase with the severity of the
condition suffered by the patient and the consequences of failure of the solution. Similarly, the more
the service provider gets involved in providing
advice or content, the more risk is incurred. Storing
patient level clinical data introduces a raft of regulatory requirements and stiff penalties for breaches
in security. Any party providing clinical advice
might become medically liable for the health of
the patient. As the service crosses the regulatory
threshold, more focus needs to be invested in
developing appropriate risk management procedures (figure 21). .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 29 solution. However, the more the scope of services
expands into “value-added” services and more acute
conditions, the more specific the infrastructure
required. Anything classed as a medical device needs
to be subject to regulatory approval, and as services
move into data management, specific rules on how
and where clinical data is stored need to be considered. It is likely that operators will wish to partner for
both clinical content and advice, as it will be very
difficult to acquire this expertise without significant
investment. Operators will probably wish to leverage
the clinical governance and risk management processes of established healthcare players. Clinical risk management is a complicated area,
as a single mobile health solution might be used
for multiple purposes, and there are multiple regulatory regimes which may apply to mobile health.
However, there are parties in each country who
can advise on local regulatory regimes, and plenty
of organisations who currently deliver healthcare
services with established clinical governance and
risk management regimes who operators can
partner with. Similarly, anything that might constitute a clinical “claim” will be subject to regional and
local laws, and again should be reviewed by local
It is not surprising that the most clinically intense
mobile health solutions are seen in the developing
world. The overall regulatory environment tends to
be far looser, and in any case the infrastructure and
health services can be so poor that any solution is
seen as better than none.
Overall, there is little reason why operators should
not expand beyond their traditional range of services
to provide large parts of the overall mobile health finDing the right partners
Operators will need to work with partners to
deliver mobile health services across the value
chain. Partners will need to be a mixture of global
and local organisations.
• Medical device companies are the most obvious partners for operators. Device companies
have the brand, devices, contacts, sales and dis- Clinical Risk
interventions REMOTE MONITORING Unwell:
Wellness Commercial services
Billing Network Device Transmission Marketing & Sales LD
W REMOTE MONITORING Well:
information DIAGNOSIS SUPPORT D
WO At Risk:
Y RI AMBULANCE Phone
Device Value-added services
Management Distribution Advice
Content Part of Value Chain Figure 21: Clinical.risk.across.the.mobile.health.value.chain 6 page 30..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? tribution models, health and regulatory expertise
required to sell into these markets. Operators can
offer device companies capabilities in communications, data management, customer service
support and the ability to bill on a recurring basis. Medical device companies are often global in
scope and will be most interested in operators
who can provide services in multiple markets.
• Pharmaceutical companies may be appropriate
partners for mobile health applications aimed at
specific diseases such as diabetes. However, this
will depend on the precise nature of their portfolio.
• Healthcare companies can provide clinical resources and ancillary services. There are almost no
hospital operators, insurers or healthcare providers that span more than two or three markets, and
all of these have one dominant home country and
tend to be organised as a series of national businesses. Even healthcare IT tends to be localised,
as eligibility, claims and even clinical coding vary
• Pharmacies are nearly always local, and in around
half of European countries must be owned by
pharmacists. In many markets, in particular less well-developed countries and the south of Europe, they play a significant role in health delivery,
and are likely to be the most obvious distribution
route for consumer-focused or professionally recommended solutions.
• NGOs and academic institutions can be powerful partners to establish the credibility and value
of the solution. Charities in developed countries
can be powerful influencers of policy, and also
major funders of projects for the developing
world. Organisations such as the World Health Organisation and leading academic centres can add
enormous credibility to a solution.
When building a scalable mobile health business,
it can be useful to map out the overall value chain
to work out what overall partnering arrangements
need to look like (figure 22).
Developing appropriate Distribution
anD CommerCial moDels
The most appropriate distribution model will depend
on the specific application, and will vary by health
system. Operators might supply components or the
mobile health solution itself. Part of Value Chain
Commercial services Billing Network Transmission Marketing & Sales Devices Value-added services Component
Encryption Data management
Phone Distribution Content
Device Advice Figure 22: Potential.partners.along.the.mobile.health.value.chain Healthcare providers Clinical research organisations Pharmaceutical companies Medical Insurers Software companies Medical device OEM Mobile phone OEM Component OEM Software companies Mobile operators Medical wholesalers Pharmacies, contract sales Transaction services companies TYPICAL PLAYERS .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 31 The distinction between consumers and patients
is important. Once diagnosed with a disease, the
customer for a mobile health solution generally shifts
from the consumer to a health payer or provider.
So Business to Patient (B2P) has quite a different
dynamic than Business to Consumer (B2C).
Solutions focused on patients will generally be
distributed through healthcare channels (pharmacies, hospitals, doctors) in developed markets, and
might be lent, sold or given to patients (if agreed
for reimbursement). There are a range of applications which are borderline between consumer and
patient devices (e.g., blood pressure monitors) and
could potentially be distributed directly or through
consumer channels (figure 23).
The commercial model will vary by distribution model and application. For virtually all types of
solutions, both one-off and recurrent fees are likely
to be options. Here however, the structure of the
reimbursement system comes back into play. Most
reimbursement systems separate capital investment
and recurrent costs, and at any one time health
providers and health payers might view one or other
approach as more attractive. A flexible approach to the balance between one-off and recurrent costs is
Operators working with healthcare companies
or medical device partners also have the option of
various revenue sharing models, in particular for B2B
and B2B2P solutions. There is an increasing trend
toward “outcome” based payment for health services,
though measuring results from healthcare interventions are notoriously difficult to do. This is definitely
an area where it is good to partner with someone
with quite specific experience.
The level of revenue that can be expected from a
particular solution will be closely related to the value
it delivers. The fees payable to health providers to
treat specific conditions are generally publicly available and will provide a good indication of the potential for value creation. For example, a mobile health
solution which avoids an outpatient consultation
costing $200 will need to operate at a fraction of that
level per transaction.
In addition to direct payment, there are other
potential sources of revenue. Clinical data, in particular on patient reactions to specific therapies, is highly
valued and can be a significant source of revenue. BUSINESSES Mobile health solution providers • Pharmacies
• Insurers/Payers B2B2P CONSUMERS
• Wellness Centres
• Insurers B2B2C Well
or at risk B2C B2C2P B2P Figure 23:.Mobile.health.distribution.channels Carers Patients Mobile health component providers B2B 6 page 32..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? However, regulations around capture and usage are
complicated, in particular for patients undergoing
treatment, and it is worthwhile engaging with the
local authorities early to understand the specific
rules around patient level data in each jurisdiction.
For B2C solutions, there is also potential for advertising revenue.
Underpinning the whole discussion of the
commercial model lies the issue of brand. Operators are unlikely to be seen as credible suppliers of
medical devices or services in established markets,
and consumers to date have shown themselves to
be extremely reluctant to share clinical information with companies who have attempted to get
into the personal medical records market. Operators will nearly always have to team with medical
device companies to access the provider market,
and insurers or other trusted providers when
holding clinical information. The situation in developing markets might be quite different, however,
where brand recognition may be far higher than for
healthcare organisations and less constrained by
consumer and professional expectations.
builDing the right infrastruCture
As can be seen from the structure of a scalable
mobile health solution in figure 20, the business
tends to become more localised as it gets nearer
the customers, and core technologies need to be
highly customised to specific applications.
A mobile health business will require a somewhat different operating model and competencies
from that which most operators have adopted for
their core businesses. It is likely that operators will
need to set up a specific mobile health organisation
to serve this market and the pharmaceutical and
medical device industries probably offer the most
• Product development tends to be global and
built around addressing specific health needs,
e.g., cardiovascular disease. These organisations
include engineers and scientists, clinicians and
commercial experts able to realistically estimate
potential sales volumes. Product development is also increasingly “open” with broad relationships
with academic, NGO and niche companies.
• Commercialisation is carried out country-bycountry, with specialists on the local healthcare
and regulatory environment, local business development people, and local partnerships. Gaining proof of efficacy is carried out globally in the
early stages of development and locally as the
technology gets closer to launch. Where companies do not have strong geographic or therapeutic presence, co-marketing with competitors
• The interface between product development
and commercialisation is often the most difficult to get right. While solutions are built around
common technologies, they must have a strong
commercial case and be built on robust understanding of market needs. Pharmaceutical companies have stringent processes to continuously
assess both the technical and commercial viability of a technology, and consider very carefully
the order in which to launch specific applications and in which country.
For operators, the major capability gaps are likely to
be around understanding and building relationships
across the local healthcare systems, and learning
enough about specific diseases and treatments to
ensure that the mobile health solutions are effective.
Operators will also need to acquire local business
development resources either by building their own
or through appropriate partnering. The substantial
infrastructure required will need to be supported
with significant revenues, implying multiple products across multiple geographies.
The overall financial model is also rather different.
Margins will be far lower than the typical levels of
40% EBITDA expected by core mobile business.
However, the level or capital required is far less, so
probably should be compared on the basis of return
Defining the right path
While governments and health payers are starting
to recognise the potential value of mobile health, .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 33 the industry is at an early stage of development.
To quote the European Commission’s Information
Society and Media directorate, commenting on the
EC’s mobile healthcare policy recently, “ We don’t
have a policy now”. Healthcare is a very conservative
industry, and new technologies take many years to
If the medical device industry is a good indicator
of the likely future, a few global players will eventually
emerge, with a host of small providers focusing on
particular functional and geographic markets.
While it is very difficult to forecast the future in
any industry, it is unlikely that mobile health will
become a major consumer proposition in developed markets. Operators wishing to build scale
businesses will need to play in the reimbursement
space and offer a wide range of value-added services with a wide range of global and local strategic
partners. While it is sensible for operators to build
scale in their home markets first, aspirations should
ultimately be global.
The next few years will be dominated by experiments and demonstrations of value. Gradually, a few
applications will become commonplace, a few platforms will start to become recognised as emerging
standards, and global leaders will emerge. Eventually mobile health will become a mature technology,
so a long-term view is required to be successful. We
have identified a number of potential entry points
and development paths:
• Focusing on the developing world has many
advantages as discussed in this paper. Where operators have strong local connections and brands,
the opportunity is to establish an early presence
and brand in mobile health as an alternative to
more traditional health solutions. Short term revenues are likely to be limited, but in the longer term
there is a real opportunity to become a significant
player in the healthcare system.
• Consumer health solutions with a generally
low clinical intensity, such as wellness and location devices, is another path that can be followed,
with the plan to expand into more clinically intense solutions later. While this has the benefit of low clinical risk and a familiar channel, it is not
clear whether consumers will be prepared to pay
significant amounts for such services, and there is
little evidence of consumer devices being taken
up and reimbursed by healthcare systems.
• Consumer solutions recommended by health
professionals, in particular in developing markets, with an aim to transition to developed countries once proven. This approach is low risk initially,
whilst offering a pathway to more “mainstream”
health solutions. Most health systems are becoming increasingly focused on prevention and reduction of severity of chronic disease as a way to
manage costs and improve health performance.
Products here focused on enabling patients to
manage their own chronic disease in the home,
or the early stage of disease at the cusp of “well”
and “ill” such as pre-diabetic, overweight or early
stage hypertension. There are increasing examples of such “trickle up” innovations, and this is a
good way to prove a concept, as well as exploiting the strong brand position of many operators
in developing markets. However, while consumers in developing markets might well be prepared
to pay for devices to help manage their health, the
expectation in countries with established health
systems is more likely that they will be reimbursed.
So while the solution might be the same, the business model may be quite different.
• Wellness solutions to employers have definite
benefits over pure consumer wellness solutions
in terms of revenue potential, with more focus
on “back office” services such as phone advice
and clinical support. The transition to reimbursed
services is probably easier as there are many examples of services provided by both employers
and health systems, in particular around public health e.g., health checks, stress reduction,
weight loss and anti-smoking programmes.
However, it is unclear how many employers outside the major multinationals will be prepared to
pay for such services in practice.
• Components of clinical solutions for sale to
healthcare providers were being developed by 6 page 34..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? several operators. Examples include platforms to
allow connection of multiple medical devices to
remote monitoring stations, or mobile enabled
sensors. Such technologies are not generally reimbursed directly, but are used by health providers who are. These solutions have the benefit of
potentially higher revenues, but require high levels of proof and are likely to be captured by medical device legislation. Distribution channels are often unfamiliar to operators, and partner selection
is absolutely critical. Such solutions may also be
subject to public sector procurement rules.
• Complete clinical solutions. A few operators
were piloting or considering providing complete clinical services including clinical advice, invariably in partnership with a healthcare company. Such services clearly have the potential to
position the operator as a serious player in the
market. However, these services represent a significant shift away from the core operator business model, and require appropriate investment
in capability and infrastructure. They carry the
highest clinical risk, and must be approached
market by market.
The mobile health industry is too immature to say
what the “right” path is. However, it is likely that
those who approach the market with global aspirations and a commitment to build the capabilities
required to deliver value-added services will be the
ones who ultimately benefit from the market. .M O B i L E . H E A LT H , .W H O . PAY S ? ..|..page 35 7. Influencing the policy environment
To promote the use of mobile health, operators should
focus on communicating its benefits in addressing the
global health trends outlined in the first chapter of this
paper. In established health systems, operators should
emphasise the power of mobile health to address
the problems of chronic disease management and in
particular the ability to reduce system costs by cutting
hospital re-admissions and preventing exacerbations. In the developing world, the ability to increase
access, to achieve dramatic improvements in health
outcomes at low cost are all powerful messages. In all environments, communications should focus on
evidence of cost reduction and health gain.
Unlike other mobile markets, healthcare is a business where the maturity of a technology is more
attractive than its modernity. Reliability, simplicity, cost
effectiveness when compared with other means of
delivering services will all resonate with policy makers,
health payers and health providers.
In addition to these general messages, there are
some specific health policy issues that the industry
should consider actively promoting: • Environment which fosters and rewards uptake of innovation. in.particular.in.the.current.
financial. environment,. there. will. be. a. tendency. for. systems. to. focus. on. cost-cutting. measures..
• Explicit reimbursement mechanisms and processes for non face-to-face interventions.
• Reimbursement systems that transfer risk more to health providers especially.for.chronic.
• Explicit evaluation mechanisms and processes for.non.drug.or.medical.procedure.value-formoney.assessments.need.to.be.incorporated.in.addition.to.those.focused.on.pharmaceuticals.
• Established regulatory frameworks for mobile health which. clearly. outline. positions. on.
• International standards for connectivity and medical coding will.make.it.far.easier.to.deploy.
common.technologies.into.multiple.markets. 7 page 36..|..M O B i L E . H E A LT H ,.W H O . PAY S ? Conclusions
In reading this paper, operators will probably be struck by the complexity of healthcare. Its myriad variations,
complex supply chains, multiple stakeholders and risks. However, this is an industry that consumes close to 10%
of global GDP and influences the lives of every person on the planet, so perhaps this should not be surprising.
Healthcare is not an area to be approached lightly. Certainly, of all the “verticals” being addressed by operators,
healthcare is probably the most challenging, but it is also potentially the most attractive, in the long term at least.
Those operators who build successful and sizeable long-term businesses will be those who come to terms with
its complexity and invest appropriately, over an extended period, to build the capabilities and compelling value
propositions that help to address some of the world’s most taxing health problems. About A.T. Kearney
A.T.. Kearney. is. a. global. management. consulting.
firm. that. uses. strategic. insight,. tailored. solutions.
and. a. collaborative. working. style. to. help. clients.
achieve. sustainable. results.. Since. 1926,. we. have.
been. trusted. advisors. on. CEO-agenda. issues. to.
the. world’s. leading. corporations. across. all. major.
industries.. A.T.. Kearney’s. offices. are. located. in.
For further information, please contact
[email protected] www.atkearney.com About the GSMA
The. GSMA. represents. the. interests. of. the. worldwide.mobile.communications.industry...Spanning.
world’s. mobile. operators,. as. well. as. more. than.
including. handset. makers,. software. companies,.
equipment. providers,. internet. companies,. and.
media. and. entertainment. organizations.. The.
GSMA. is. focused. on. innovating,. incubating,. and.
creating. new. opportunities. for. its. membership,.
For further information, please contact
[email protected] www.gsma.com ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/21/2012 for the course HUMBIO 156 taught by Professor Katzenstein,d during the Fall '11 term at Stanford.
- Fall '11