Privacy concerns are the biggest barrier to mHealth market, survey finds

Mobile health devices are a growing market, but some healthcare executives are still dubious about their security.

A report from The Economist Intelligence Unit found approximately 64 percent of healthcare executives believe mHealth apps will improve health outcomes, and 63 percent predicted that better access to health data will enable patients to make better health decisions. The report surveyed 144 healthcare executives about the mobile health market and their expectations for its future.

However, 49 percent of respondents answered that consumer fears about privacy will limit expansion, and 51 percent said their own biggest concern was privacy.

"If people won't use the technology because of data breaches, we run the risk of losing the benefits of these technologies," Robert B. McCray, president and CEO of the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance, said in the report. "Privacy is probably the single biggest issue of our time."

The report said most of the respondents hoped the attitudes and security risks would improve because mHealth could improve the healthcare industry, save costs and enable patients to have more control over their own health decisions, as well as better serve patients in rural environments.

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