Report: 19 million will use remote patient monitoring by 2018
Technological advances, particularly through devices that can track patient health and trigger alarm bells when significant changes occur, are designed to reduce costs associated with readmissions and extended hospitalization. A new report by Berg Insight shows that 3 million patients worldwide are connected to some form of remote monitoring device at home and monitored by a professional caregiver. In four years, it projects that figure to top 19 million. But what applications are remote patient monitoring devices used for most? And how will the market evolve?
First of all, the report puts the total remote patient monitoring market at €4.3 billion or $5.85 billion as of 2013. Connected medical device manufacturer revenues account for most of those sales — about 76.7 percent, to be exact. But that’s expected to change as mHealth connectivity muscle grows. By the time 2018 rolls around, when the market is expected to climb to €19.4 billion or $26.3 billion, mobile health will account for 40 percent of total revenues. It currently represents about one-fifth of sales.
Here’s a breakdown of the largest markets and some other factors influencing the remote patient monitoring space. Incidentally, that 3 million figure doesn’t include the folks using devices like FitBits to track their health.
Cardiac rhythm management accounted for two-thirds of connected remote monitoring devices last year — that’s 2 million people, according to the report.
Sleep therapy represents about 0.54 million people, driven by the obstructive sleep apnea market.
Telehealth has 0.34 million connections. Although it is a relatively small market, there is a growing number of companies with connected solutions supporting telehealth, as well as medication adherence monitoring and airflow monitoring, to name a few. Among those companies are ResMed, Philips Respironics, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Propeller Health, MIR, iSonea, Telcare, J&J, Honewell, Bosch, Tunstall, Alere, Evondos and InRange Systems. Pharmaceutical companies will move into this space as well, the report projects.
Impact of cellular connectivity: Wired phone systems and Local Area Networks account for 70 percent of device connectivity transmitting patient data to caregivers. But mobile devices are helping to shake things up. Cellular connectivity is already overtaking LAN and is projected to account for 74 percent of device connectivity by 2018.
Care delivery platforms: Companies like BePatient, Exco, InTouch, Get Real Health, HealthyCircles, Medixine and Verizon have helped grow the remote monitoring market by providing hubs for healthcare services to be delivered remotely. They also support care coordination between patients and healthcare professionals. A third alternative is that patients use their own mobile devices as health hubs. Although smartphones and tablets are having an impact, and have the potential to be more cost-effective, they represented less than 1 percent of connections at the end of 2013.
Mhealth connectivity companies also play a critical role. Their products and services to collect data from medical monitoring devices, transmit the data to caregivers and helping it be used by care delivery platforms are produced by the likes of Qualcomm Life through its 2net platform. Other companies in this area include HealthKit from Apple, HealthGO from eDevice, and Connected Health Centre from Orange.