Mobile app analytics firm App Annie has released a list of the telemedicine apps most frequently downloaded through the Apple and Google marketplaces.
The five services, in descending order, are: American Well (which currently holds a 4.7/5 star user rating on the App Store), Doctor on Demand (4.9 stars), Teladoc (4.8 starts), MDLive (4.6 stars) and HealthTap (4.3 stars).
To reach its conclusion, App Annie combined all downloads of published and whitelisted telehealth apps between January 2014 and September 2018. Other telehealth companies included in the analysis that were not among the five most downloaded were Chiron Health, eVisit, InTouch, PlushCare and SnapMD.
Why it matters
According to a recent JAMA study, telehealth is steadily growing within the larger healthcare system but still somewhat in its infancy compared to standard care and other established technologies. The steady increase is also noticeable from the perspective of the mobile market — additional data from App Annie suggests that the “medical” category is experiencing 20 percent year-over-year download growth, with more than 53 million downloads of medical apps occurring from July 2017 to June 2018.
As such, the analytics group’s recent analysis provides an up-to-date view of the mobile telehealth landscape. Of note is that the data does not include an indication of how many patients are using these services consistently, but only a rough comparison of how many consumers have downloaded each telehealth provider’s free app.
What’s the trend
The telehealth sector has been rife with M&As, new service launches, major partnerships and beefy funding rounds from players of all sizes. But despite its clear growth, some major questions still remain regarding its comparative efficacy, appropriate regulation, physician uptake and other major concerns for an industry looking to the telecommunications technology as an answer to some of its logistical challenges.
On the record
"The era of digital health — delivering healthcare over technology — is finally here," Dr. Roy Schoenberg, CEO and president at American Well, said in a statement announcing his company’s placement on App Annie’s list. "In 2018, we saw more movement than ever before within the telehealth sector. Wherever you turn, whether it's published research, new clients, reimbursement, policy changes, business or revenue, telehealth is a technology that's here to stay."