Remote Patient Monitoring Platforms Emerge

ABI Research LogoClose to 100 million wearable remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices will ship over the next 5 years, according to ABI Research. This growth is boosted by the growing interest in moving healthcare away from the hospital and into patients’ homes. A key part of that trend is the ability to collect data from consumer devices and share it securely with patients, healthcare providers, and payers. The last six months alone have seen Apple (HealthKit), Google (Fit), and Samsung (S Health) all announced RPM platform plans.

RPM offers patients greater flexibility and care while bringing efficiency and cost savings to health service providers. While this trend is an opportunity for some, it’s a threat to others. And adoption has been stymied by a range of factors that include device availability, regulation, inertia and a high barrier to entry for new players in the space.

“Data has traditionally resided in silos belonging to specific applications delivered primarily by device vendors themselves. New cloud platforms capable of collecting data from a range of vendor devices and sharing it securely with a range of related parties including patients, healthcare providers, and payers will drive adoption and bring more connected devices to market,” said Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research.

Consumers are playing a role in the adoption of RPM as well. Many patients are already aware of activity tracking with wearable wireless devices from players like FitBit and Jawbone, and they’re looking for the same functionality from medical devices. In the continuous glucose monitoring market, devices from Dexcom, Animas, Medtronic, and others use wearable wireless technology to provide customers with connected ways to manage their condition as well as track and share details of their experience with their healthcare providers. Wireless connectivity is increasingly embedded in pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, ECG monitors, and a host of emerging devices focused on specific health conditions and body parameters.

The latest ABI research report, “The Remote Patient Management Revolution: Wearable Devices and Open Management Platforms”, looks at the key devices, platforms and market drivers and inhibitors in the RPM market as well as forecasts device adoption over the next 5 years. The report is part of ABI research’s mHealth Wearables, Platforms and Services Market Research.

About ABI Research

ABI Research is a market research company that provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

My Advice as Editor of Modern Health Talk

If you buy any of these market research reports, make sure you get a chance to interview the authors personally to understand their assumptions, research process, and what shapes their conclusions. Make sure they aren’t just extrapolating trends but also include thoughtful discussion of market drivers, inhibitors and enablers, because you’ll need that insight to craft yourstrategies. 

Do the authors understand what’s driving telehealth, including the ageing populations and resulting increase in chronic illness, environmental pollution, the availability of nutritious foods, rising care costs, and physician shortages? What do they think of obstacles posed by legal, privacy and security issues, payment models, medical school curriculum and funding? What impact will regulators and the political process have, either as driver or inhibitor? And what will be the short- and long-term impact of broadband Internet access and the exponentially accelerating pace of tech innovation? Consider how quickly Moore’s Law is finding its’ way into healthcare (http://www.mhealthtalk.com/moores-law-and-the-future-of-healthcare/) and ask what will likely happen as medical devices keep getting cheaper, smaller, more accurate, and easier to use. 

Consider the impact of IBM Watson moving from physician assistance tool to advising and coaching consumers directly. How quickly will each of the medical functions done today by physicians in hospital & clinic settings safely move down-market to consumers at home? Won’t retail clinics and kiosks, and home doctor/nurse visits, just be stepping-stones along a path toward that eventuality? 

And finally, what phases will the market projections go through, and when? What levers might you have to make projections happen more quickly? And what should you watch out for that could make them happen more slowly?