Report says remote patient monitoring becoming part of standard care pathways

Approximately 2.8 million patients worldwide were using a home monitoring service based on equipment with integrated connectivity at the end of 2012, according to a newly released research report from telecom industry analyst firm Berg Insight.

The report, mHealth and Home Monitoring, counts patients that were using dedicated devices for remote monitoring, but excludes patients who used their personal mobile phone, tablet or PC for remote monitoring.

Berg Insight forecasts that the number of home monitoring systems with integrated communication capabilities will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.9 percent between 2011 and 2017 to reach 9.4 million connections worldwide. The number of devices with integrated cellular connectivity increased from 730,000 in 2011 to about 1.03 million in 2012, and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 46.3 percent to 7.1 million in 2017, the firm reported.

mHealth enables more efficient care delivery, decreased costs and improved sustainability of the healthcare system, the report said. New care models enabled by these technologies are often consistent with patients’ preferences of living more healthy, active and independent lives.

“Widespread use of remote patient monitoring is still years away, but we are moving toward an age where mHealth solutions will become part of standard care pathways. Financial incentives are now coming into place and new mandates are formed that favorably affect the adoption of mHealth solutions. We believe 2013 will be a landmark year as the mHealth industry shifts into a strong growth phase that will last for many years to come”, said Lars Kurkinen, telecom analyst with Berg Insight, in a prepared statement.

Several new developments in the mHealth industry will ensure strong market growth in 2013 and beyond, the report added. In the United States, the progressive increases of readmission penalties set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service will drive hospitals to adopt telehealth solutions for monitoring post-discharge patients. In the United Kingdom, the positive results from the Whole System Demonstrator project led the National Health Service to issue a mandate for 100,000 additional patients to be monitored with telehealth solutions by March 2014. In France, a new mandate on compliance monitoring will ensure that all new sleep therapy patients will be remotely monitored from 2013 onwards. This new mandate is expected to result in more than 600,000 connected sleep therapy devices by 2016.

“Today cardiac rhythm management [CRM] is the most important segment of connected medical devices. However, we believe that connected sleep therapy devices will become the largest segment of connected medical devices by 2017, followed by the CRM and telehealth categories. Connectivity is at the same time gaining momentum in several other segments such as blood pressure monitoring, glucose monitoring, ECG monitoring and medication adherence“, added Kurkinen in a release accompanying announcement of the report..