It is estimated that the “digital well being” market is worth approximately 2 trillion dollars. This market is defined as the combination of digital tech and mental health care. To understand why there is such a large market here are a few facts from Mental Health Canada:
• Mental illnesses indirectly affect all Canadians through illness in a family member, friend or colleague.
• Twenty percent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
• Mental illnesses affect people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
• The onset of most mental illnesses occurs during adolescence and young adulthood.
• A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
• Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.
• Mental illnesses are costly to the individual, the family, the health care system and the community.
• The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada was estimated to be at least $7.331 billion in 1993.
• Eight-six percent of hospitalizations for mental illness in Canada occur in general hospitals.
• In 1999, 3.8% of all admissions in general hospitals (1.5 million hospital days) were due to anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, major depression, personality disorders, eating disorders and suicidal behavior.
• The stigma attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
It is apparent then that Mental Health care is becoming and increasingly important issue in Canada, despite the stigma. So how can Perked take advantage of this?
In the case of Perked’s market segments an individual is defined as an end user who is not using the application because of a Company, University, or Psychiatric recommendation. Instead they are using it by their own free will to improve their own mental health. As mentioned previously approximately 20% of Canadians will experience mental health issues, that’s nearly 6.3 million people affected at the time of the study (2002). Furthermore, as of this posting there are over 250 applications available on the Google Play store for download when searching for “mental health.” The top five of these applications have been downloaded 10,000 to 50,000 times each. Searching through the reviews most of the users are everyday people using it to help them through their mental health issues. As was noted in Mental Health Canada’s report, most mental illness occurs in adolescents and young adults, the most likely users of mobile applications.
So what does that mean for Perked? Well not only is there a very large population of individuals, there are already many active members of this population downloading applications on their mobile devices to help themselves. This is a very large and established market segment and with the right strategy would be a valid market to enter.