New research out from Industry analyst firm Chilmark Research indicates mHealth in the Enterprise is  “a market on the verge of explosive growth,” estimated to grow into a $1.7B market by 2014.

In its most recent report, “mHealth in the Enterprise: Trends, Opportunities & Challenges,” the research firm said that while the mHealth market opportunity in healthcare enterprises is less than $100M, the rapid evolution in mobile devices coupled with physician demand and the healthcare enterprise\’s need to improve quality and efficiencies will drive the market to the healthy $1.7 billion estimate in the next 4 years.

The report places emphasis on how clinicians will continue to adopt the iPad and other emerging touchscreen tablets – and the implications for mHealth Apps that will run on such devices.   Notably, the larger screen size and high portability of these ‘companion devices\’ provides the opportunity to move away from restricted smartphone feature sets, enabling physicians to use mHealth Apps with improved bidirectional data flow through a touch interface.

\”Currently, 63% of physicians are using an mHealth App in the enterprise,\” says Cora Sharma, lead analyst at Chilmark Research. \”However, the majority of these are clinical reference Apps with no tie-in to an enterprise\’s healthcare information systems (HIS).\”  Sharma goes on to state that \”Physician adoption of mobile devices, including extremely rapid adoption of touchscreen tablets such as Apple\’s iPad, will lead to equally rapid adoption and deployment of mHealth App solutions by these enterprises – not just to help them comply with meaningful use or to satisfy physician demands, but also in an effort to improve operational efficiencies and quality of care delivered.\”