By the end of the decade, the worldwide mobile health market is expected to grow to $49 billion, according to a new study by Grand View Research. The firm pegged the value of the global mHealth market at $1.95 billion in 2012, with projected growth from 2014 to 2020 at a staggering compound annual growth rate of 47.6 percent.

"Per capita health care expenditures have been increasing, which makes medical services unaffordable for a large percentage of the population. As a result, demand for mobile health is expected to increase considerably over the next six years," according to the report. "In addition to smartphone proliferation, uptake of 3G and 4G networks is expected to increase demand for telemedicine services. Aging population and growing incidences of diseases linked to changing lifestyles have intensified the need for affordable and accessible health care."

The research firm predicted that monitoring services will remain the dominant and fastest growing mobile health market segment, with market revenue of $1.23 billion in 2012, and an estimated CAGR of 49.7 percent from 2014 to 2020. According to the report, chronic disease management was the largest contributor to the monitoring services market, with higher demand from developed markets of North America and Europe. The market for post-acute care services accounted for 19.5 percent of the overall monitoring services revenue in 2012.

Mobile operators represented 48 percent of the overall market in 2012, with the majority of their revenue originating from monitoring services such as independent aging solutions. The firm said the market for health care providers is expected to grow slower than the global average, at an estimated CAGR of 45.1 percent from 2014 to 2020.

"Quelling credible concerns among users, along with availability of regulatory support is crucial for driving profitability of industry stakeholders," argued the report. "Concerns among users, regarding the safety and privacy of information, along with the need for secure infrastructure, are the key challenges for market participants."

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