- New technologies have been revolutionizing the healthcare field in recent years. From electronic patient records, telemedicine tools, remote patient monitoring, and other health IT systems, the medical industry is quickly becoming more digitized and virtual. All of these capabilities are aimed at improving patient care, boosting public health outcomes, and lowering overall medical costs, which is known as the Triple Aim of Healthcare.
Remote patient monitoring, for instance, is becoming a strong market among healthcare providers, according to a Kalorama Information press release. The global patient monitoring market is valued today at $31.4 billion, which includes devices, software, and mobile applications.
With meaningful use requirements under the EHR Incentive Programs stimulating EHR implementation and the need to integrate more remote data into electronic patient records, more providers have been moving their financial resources into the remote patient monitoring market. The push for EHR interoperability is another stimulant that could bring more funds into this arena.
“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 systems,” Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information, stated in the press release. “There is also an increasing trend to upgrade to ambulatory and hand-held devices.”
Developing remote patient monitoring systems are likely to integrate current technologies impacting the healthcare industry such as wearable devices or mobile health apps. Also, telemedicine technologies like real-time audio and video to help patients and providers communicate are impacting the remote patient monitoring market as well.
In addition to telehealth tools, wireless communication platforms capable of storing and analyzing vast amounts of patient data will prove useful when it comes to the information that remote monitoring provides. Patient engagement tools like patient portals are also capabilities that would prove valuable to individuals with chronic health conditions residing at home and physicians who are monitoring vital signs from afar.
The Kalorama report also found that both the United States and European nations have made headway in implementing remote patient monitoring technology. The cardiology field in particular has adopted many of the systems available for remote monitoring. This includes cardiac event and function monitors, blood management monitors, neurological event monitors, and respiratory function monitors.
“Patient monitoring parameters range from basic vital signs to electrocardiograms (ECGs) and implantable cardiac monitors. Patient monitoring peripherals and systems include the following: blood gases, blood pressure (sphygmomanometer), electroencephalography (EEG), fetal heart, glucose meter, pacemaker monitoring, thermometer, transcranial Doppler (TCD), ultrasound, and weight scale, among others,” the press release stated. “There are a huge number of companies offering some form of wireless and remote technologies, patient data processing applications and equipment, and EMR data transfer equipment. Competitors supplying advanced patient monitoring systems to hospitals are large, established healthcare companies, often working in conjunction with information technology companies on an entire system.”
In addition to the growth of the remote patient monitoring field, the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communication market is expected to rise from $255.87 Billion in 2014 to $947.29 Billion by 2019, according to a MarketsandMarkets report.
The Internet of Things will be playing a large role in increasing interoperability and the connectedness between different devices in many differing fields including the healthcare industry. Cloud computing is also a major driver of this particular market, which is expected to increase connectivity tremendously over the next seven years.
“The trends which is increasing the interconnectivity to simplify the complex monitoring and managing communication devices is the optimize use of cloud computing and big data. These technological trends support the backend processing and analytics required to cope with the global communication methodologies,” the MarketsandMarkets press release stated.
Persistence Market Research also published findings about the remote patient monitoring sector. The United States is holding a dominant holding on this particular market, which is expected to continue growing over the coming years. As medical costs continue to rise, remote patient monitoring may be used to lower spending and manage chronic health conditions among the patient population.
“In recent times there is increased use of remote patient monitoring device due to hospital readmission reduction program by the U.S. Affordable Care Act,” the release stated. “In addition, a government initiative to reduce healthcare cost is also fuelling the growth of the North American remote patient monitoring device market. However, unstable reimbursement, high technological cost and economic slowdown are some of the major factors restraining the growth for the North American remote patient monitoring device market.”
This shows that, while the market has had steady adoption, there are certain barriers that could keep some providers from adopting remote patient monitoring tools over the coming years. Time will tell how the market will fare across the healthcare industry.