We’ve been keeping a running narrative of various market projections in telehealth, eHealth and mHealth–the most recent being Juniper Research’s 2014 mobile healthcare global estimate of $1.9 billion–but if you haven’t seen and bookmarked Brian Dolan’s bar graph comparison at Mobihealthnews, you should. It turns out that Juniper is the conservative one of the bunch–Harry Wang at Parks Research is predicting $4.4 billion in the US alone by 2013. This is in line with CMSG at $4.6 billion in 2014 (specifying a very wide net including PERS, fitness and mobile medical equipment) and ABI Research estimating Wi-Fi enabled health devices in the US at $5.0 billion. The problem with these hefty estimates is that (as in telecare and telehealth) they tend to encourage sketchy business practices such as chasing revenues and burning through investor funding rather than tightly focusing sales, marketing and tech development to grow the business in a controlled manner. The discussion below this article is interesting–and if you are a LinkedIn member, pop over to Paul Sonnier’s Wireless Health group for more (especially Steve Wunker’s more expansive discussion on the previous statement.) And if you like, we’ve commented on a parallel discussion over at the Connected Health Community group (article and links here).
Steve Wunker’s comment (for people without LinkedIn)
This was such an insightful comment on the LinkedIn discussion on market forecasts by consulting companies that I asked Steve Wunkler, Managing Director, New Markets Advisors if I could reproduce it here:
“Many years ago I created market projections at a large consulting firm, and realize how inexact a science this is when the target industry is rapidly moving. In the 1990s we had no idea how to size the Internet — we just knew that it would be big. And that was actually the point that mattered. Once a market is sufficiently large to be interesting, it doesn’t much matter whether the industry will be $2B or $4B in a few years time. What matters far more are the competitive dynamics that arise alongside market growth (e.g. profit margins, degree of focus competitors take, M&A activity, etc.), as well as the big assumptions that will influence the speed of market adoption. Focusing on market sizes leads managers to concentrate on the wrong things — it creates false precision, encourages a get-big-fast mentality, and leads people to think about revenue before profit. Dangerous. If a research firm could project profit pools, competitive intensity, and power dynamics within the industry value chain, THAT would be useful!” Steve Wunkler