6 hidden factors behind successful mHealth apps

6 hidden factors behind successful mHealth apps

There are 6 hidden factors that distinguish financially successful mHealth app developers from the rest, according to the results of the largest global study on mHealth app publishing – research2guidance’s 4th mHealth App Developer Economics Study.

There are also common, “above the line” factors that contribute such as getting featured on an app store, great app design, usability and functionality as well as highly visible ad campaigns. Besides them, successful app publishers also differ in 6 not immediately recognizable areas which build the basis for their success. They are:

1. Clear preference for “Service” as the primary revenue model
More than one third of Millionaires rely on service sales as their primary source of revenue. This includes sophisticated remote monitoring and consultation services as well as simple services like scanned image sharing. Less successful app publishers concentrate on paid downloads as their primary source of income.

2. Larger app portfolio
As opposed to 16% of Low and No Earners, 35% of successful publishers have released more than 20 mHealth apps. For this reason they are better positioned to leverage cross-selling potential and balance the risks.

3. More experience in the market
60% of those who are successful today have entered the mHealth app business 4 years ago on average. This time span is twice as long as the experience of the financially non-successful mHealth app developers.

4. Greater usage of medical and health APIs
Millionaires make or plan to make more use of medical APIs (61% vs. 40%). These APIs provide access to general health information databases (e.g. drug, food, disease), personal health databases (e.g. calorie intake, steps, weight), to medical devices of third-party vendors (e.g. glucometer, blood pressure monitor) and to health tracking devices of third-party vendors (e.g. heart rate monitoring belts, step tracking bracelets).

5. Greater usage of app development tools
Millionaires make relatively more use of tools which support development, performance monitoring and monetization of their apps (37% vs. 23%). These tools include Ad Network, Analytics, Cross Platform, Performance, Social Network and Storage tools.

6. Clearer preference for iOS as the number one platform
Millionaires also have a stronger preference for iOS (75%) than for Android (20%) as their primary mobile platform choice. Their platform preference for iOS is more than twice as high as the iOS platform preference of Low Earners (3.8 versus 1.7). Despite Android’s impressive market share gains, iOS still offers better revenue potential for mHealth app publishing.

The study about the current state of mHealth app publishing and its future trends surveyed 2,032 mHealth app publishers around the world. 5.1% of mHealth app publishers have generated more than $1 million with their mHealth app portfolio last year (Millionaires). On the other hand, the vast majority (68%) has earned USD 0 to 10,000 (Low and No Earners).