First published on Forbes.com, IMS Health has a robust report on the state of the app economy around healthcare, and the picture isn’t pretty. John Mack and I discussed this a bit on a recent podcast and this report validates a lot of our perspectives on the issue.
There is a significant skew in download volume for healthcare apps, with more than 50% of available apps achieving fewer than 500 downloads. Conversely, 5 apps account for 15% of all downloads in the healthcare category. The reason behind the limited downloads, and hurdles to improved uptake, span all stakeholders. Patients currently face a dizzying array of healthcare apps to choose from, with little guidance on quality or support from their doctors.
As I discovered when I first started collecting apps for the mobile wiki, theres a ton of crap out there. Given how many health apps there are and how little value most provide, these numbers don’t surprise me. This shouldn’t dissuade you from making an app, especially if you’ve done the leg work to clearly understand the value proposition you wish to fill and have carefully thought though how to make and additive experience for your customers. The take away for me is this: Have a promotional plan for your app. The app economy isn’t a build-it-and-they-will-come environment. The scale of this report illustrates that you’ll experience a high degree of failure if you simply want to put something in the App Store and hope it will catch on.
Download the full report here (Via IMS Health).