Consumer use to drive home health monitoring market growth

Building on a revenue base of nearly $127 million in 2010, the market for home health monitoring tools and solutions is expected to approach $295 million in 2015, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

Researchers say past growth has been tied to telemedicine products marketed to providers, health plans and self-insured businesses; however, a new customer is poised to affect the market: the consumer.

“The proximity of this market to the patient/consumer makes it a bridge between consumer-friendly products, such as smartphones or tablets, and healthcare services,” said Zachary Bujnoch, a senior industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan, in a press release. “Also, over the past five years and going forward, this market has begun to form two tiers: traditional telemedicine and more consumer-focused monitoring services.”

Bujnoch’s analysis, contained in “Home Healthcare and Disease Management for Remote Patient Monitoring,” finds that the double-digit growth rate over the past decade is good -- but it’s not as good as its potential would suggest.

“Over-buildup and misrepresentation have made this market confusing and complicated,” said Bujnoch, who added that many current business models lack the potential for growth in the market because of problems like scalability. “However, significant revenue and outcomes remain for those who can sift through fact and fiction.”

With the recent launch of WellTech, a New York-based incubator targeting business ideas in the patient-centered health and wellness field, and plans by several mobile health vendors to market their products directly to the consumer in the future, the market is shifting.

Payers and the business world are taking notice, too, with programs that allow members or employees to manage their own healthcare accounts, choose health and wellness services, and connect with providers via smartphones, tablets and patient portals.

The key to success, analysts and others say, is finding a solution that connects the patient to the provider in a way that both will find profitable. The provider wants something that will extend healthcare services into the home without affecting workflow or reimbursement -- and which will lead to improved clinical outcomes and a reduction in emergency medical interactions. The patient, meanwhile, wants a tool that will improve health and wellness and reduce costs by avoiding unnecessary visits to the clinic or hospital.

“Looking at the recent past, the typical overhype present in this market has begun to recede with small- and large-scale success stories,” said Bujnoch. “We have also seen success through simple and smart ideas.”

Those ideas are particularly attractive in light of two growing populations: those with chronic conditions, and aging Americans who would rather live at home than in a facility.

“Success stories and innovations are in this market,” he added. “However, many times, these stories and technologies have trouble getting the appropriate attention.”

Add new comment