Will 2015 be the year of medical and children education apps?

Will 2015 be the year of medical and children education apps?

If you take a look at the startup scene you might notice it resembles a big anthill. There are lots of startup ideas but only a few will turn out to be successful. According to Y Combinator Startup School founder Paul Graham, as much as 511 companies have attended startup school out of which only 37 have thrived. The ones that made it were the ones that were able to predict the expectations of the market and knew how to proceed in order to meet them. We are no psychics but we keep up with the world’s newest startup trends and we can say with confidence that 2015 and further two kinds of products will take over the scene and those are children and personalized medical apps.

An application for 5 year olds

According to the European Commission reports, the income in the mobile app market has reached €17.5 billion and is predicted to reach an astonishing amount of €63 billion in 2018. In addition by that time as much as 5 million developers will be working on new apps. Right now the mobile app market is a gold mine. This applies particularly to children applications. What we have in mind are parenting apps designed for users who want to make the best of their child’s free time as well as apps designed directly for kids as young as 3 years old. These kinds of apps are used as additional help for parents who seek assistance in the education of their children and for those who want to implement the gestalt method, which is one of the modern theories of child upbringing. 

The bar regarding the age when a child should start using the web has consistently been lowered in the last years. More and more children are gaining access to the internet regardless of their age. According to research driven by Plymouth Safeguarding Children Board (PSCB) 7 out of 10 preschoolers being younger than 5 years old have an active account on gaming portals and spend about half an hour on the internet daily. PBI estimations prove that in Poland there’s already 1.8 million children in between 7 and 12 years using the web which is about 8% of Internet users in Poland in total. This leads to the conclusion that the potential audience for apps is quite big and still growing. 

Apps such as Duckie Deck or Foldify, which are focused on stimulating the minds of children have proven to be a great success. When it comes to parenting applications the next one to watch is Playful Bee. It is an interactive website designed for parents who want to track the advancement of their children since day one. Playful Bee users are given access to five themed groups within the app such as cognitive, emotional and linguistic games dedicated to stimulate the development of specific abilities in their child. Although there’s a big potential for parenting and educational apps for children there is still a huge scarce in the market. That’s exactly the reason why this year, web and mobile developers will most probably grow a big interest in apps like these.

Your digital doctor

Another trend, which will also be pursued by developers is e-medicine and its personalised version in particular. PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates that the global medical mobile and web app market is already growing at a rate of 11% per year and its actual value in the US is about $232 billion. Even Barack Obama while still being a senator proposed a project to the American Congress according to which every American would have a guaranteed access to personalised medicine. 

As of now this trend is not only one of the most promising in the New Technologies industry but also one of the biggest challenges for IT companies. Since the iWatch has been announced more and more developer teams have started working on apps for wearable technology. Since the possibilities are countless there might be a lot of surprises in this area. We will be facing apps designed not only to measure your physical condition or for making online medical appointments but also and most importantly apps designed particularly for doctors. 

It is estimated that 96% of doctors in the US use smartphones, however only 10% use them for insights regarding their patients. According to MobiHealthNews the reason for this is the lack of dedicated apps for doctors such as EMR (Electronic Media Record), which would in fact make their work much easier. But these apps are becoming more popular. A good example is Profam - an app designed not only for doctors but for their patients as well. It has features such as access to prescriptions, a calendar for planning appointments etc. The ground for personalized medicine is developing quickly, for instance patient cards are now being kept on hospital servers instead of paper. Thanks to the use of big data doctors will be able to choose and customise treatments for patients accordingly to their particular needs. 

Another interesting trend is crowdfunded medicine, which may turn out to be a revolution in the medical industry. The BioCrowd is one of the first companies that started doing this. it is a British crowdfunding site dedicated only to the medical and pharmaceutical market. The BioCrowd facilitates match making between investors and scientists or doctors pursuing innovative and promising clinical research, which often needs private funding in order to be able to appear on the market. This is a great step since social funding may lead to groundbreaking cures to be discovered. 

Apple has also focused on health apps lately. They have published HealthKit and Health app, which facilitate the integration of multiple health applications and allow keeping all medical records in one place. An addition to this is Apple’s app Family Sharing designed for an easier sharing of data and payments between family members.

Life’s Uberisation

Perhaps the trends mentioned above might be described best with the term Uberisation, meaning handling traditional services through digital channels. For instance Starbucks has launched a new beta app in USA which allows clients to order coffee from their phones and pick it up at the chosen coffeehouse. We’ve been also working on a similar app for the British market. Apps such as Helpling which allow customers to call for services such as house cleaning have also become very popular. You might be wondering how it works. Well, it’s quite easy: you need a  traditional service where the reputation of the service provider is crucial, you implement it into a secure app in which the community rates different providers and the payments are processed digitally. The technology removes traditional restrictions such as localisation or a limited amount of private contacts.

Fin-tech and the digital currency topics have also proven to be interesting ones to follow. There might be a lot happening in this area. There are arising startups which have already left banks behind when it comes to innovation. Some of them are reimagining online banking take a look at Simple or Moven for example. Banks such as Barclays are now launching their own investment funds and business accelerators in order to keep up. Right now is the time the whole IT industry has started noticing how powerful the startup market is.

To wrap it up

As we have mentioned before, according to our predictions parenting and medicine apps are the ones we will be seeing a lot of in 2015. However predicting which startup is going to be 100% successful is like telling someone’s fortune with the help of a crystal ball. We know the startup market in and out and it’s safe to say sometimes the most successful apps are the ones with totally unpredictable ideas behind them. Let’s take for example Ghost Radar - a mobile app which helps you to find ghosts in your proximity. Its success only proves that the startup community is one with an open mind and out of the box thinking, which makes anything possible.

The article was originally published at mamstartup.pl 

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