Three million patients connected to home medical monitoring
Remote healthcare monitoring expected to reach 19.1 million by 2018
Some three million patients worldwide are connecting to home medical monitoring devices, according to analyst company Berg Insight.
The number of patients who are being remotely monitored by a professional caregiver is expected to rise to 19.1 million by 2018, although this figure does not include connected medical devices used for personal health tracking.
The main application is monitoring of patients with implantable cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices, which with two million connections accounted for nearly two thirds of all connected home medical monitoring devices in 2013. Sleep therapy and telehealth are the second and third largest segments with 0.54 million and 0.34 million connections respectively at the end of the year.
Today, more than 70% of all connected medical devices rely on PSTN or LAN connectivity for transmitting measurement data to caregivers. However, cellular connectivity has become the most common technology in new medical devices and is forecasted to account for 74% of all connections by 2018. A third alternative is that patients use their own mobile devices as health hubs. The bring your own device (BYOD) model can in theory be very cost-efficient as no dedicated hardware or subscriptions are needed, but accounted for less than one percent of all connections in 2013.
"It is currently more common that caregivers provide a dedicated tablet or smartphone to a patient for remote monitoring than that a patient uses her own device. The main limitation is in the lack of interoperability between medical monitoring devices, smartphones and tablets" said Lars Kurkinen, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight.