- The remote patient monitoring market is growing as we speak, with new innovations and developments occurring daily across the United States. In fact, MarketResearch.com released a new white paper that predicts the remote patient monitoring market will rise from its current state of $22 billion to as much as $46 billion by 2017, according to a company press release. Over the next two years, the use and ongoing creation of remote patient monitoring tools is expected to blossom.
The white paper called Healthcare IT: Patient Monitoring and Telemedicine details the vast remote patient monitoring segment of the healthcare industry. From medical devices and mobile applications to software, online health consultants, and kiosks, the remote monitoring space is vast and allows patients with a variety of medical conditions in any situation receive high quality healthcare services.
Often, patients who have been diagnosed with a serious disease seek out second opinions from some of the best hospitals around the country. Online medical consulting tools often simplify this process. Research shows that as much as one out of five patients seeks a second opinion. Massachusetts General Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, and others offer this type of online-based medical consulting service.
Some of the typical areas of medicine that often lead patients to seek out second opinions involve cancer, neurosurgery, orthopedics, and cardiology. While the report from the market research company cites continual growth in the remote patient monitoring field, it also details some of the more common challenges among healthcare providers for adopting these new tools.
Some typical obstacles include “initial cost, technological incompatibility, privacy and security issues, and education of healthcare professionals as consultants.” Additionally, patients often show concern regarding new technologies like remote monitoring. Mostly, their concerns involve data privacy issues and the potential loss of basic standards of care.
One major benefit that could be assured with remote patient monitoring technology is cost savings across the healthcare industry. The white paper states that remote monitoring could save $10.1 billion of US healthcare dollars among patients with congestive heart failure, $6.1 billion among American diabetes patients, and $4.9 billion among those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
That would be a total savings of $21 billion throughout the healthcare industry if remote monitoring tools are implemented across the medical care continuum. A Kalorama Information report also emphasized the ongoing growth in the remote patient monitoring market.
“Cost savings are the major driver of sales, but the demand to integrate data into an EMR has also helped fuel purchases of new PM (patient monitoring) systems,” Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information, said in a public statement. “There is also an increasing trend to upgrade to ambulatory and hand-held devices.”
Along with cost savings, remote patient monitoring technologies and mHealth tools boost patient engagement, improve the quality of care, and may even reduce medical errors.
“Mobile devices have repeatedly been found to improve the completeness and accuracy of patient documentation, an effect that has often been attributed to ease of use. More accurate diagnostic coding, more frequent documentation of side effects, and increased medication safety through reduced medical errors have been reported,” stated one report published in a peer-review journal. “Timely communication within hospitals has also been determined to reduce medical errors, especially in critical care environments.”
As the healthcare industry continues to invest its resources in implementing new technologies and better patient care strategies like the development of patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations, remote patient monitoring tools will continue to play a major role in supporting the goals of the medical field.