According to a research report from the New York City-based Kalorama Information, sales of advanced remote patient monitoring devices have risen 20 percent from the year before. The market for the devices, which process patient data and link them to an electronic medical record (EMR), has constantly ticked up, going from $4 billion in 2007 to $10.6 billion in 2012.
"We expected growth and that growth was certainly seen between 2011 and 2012," Melissa Elder, analyst at Kalorama, said in a statement. "The market has benefited from the demand to move to a more wireless and streamlined operation both within major health facilities and in the home treatment markets. The demand to integrate data processing capabilities and EMR transfer options has also fueled the market."
At their most basic function, advanced remote patient monitoring systems, according to Kalorama, use remote or wireless capabilities to deliver data to an EMR. It may also be able to include real-time audio and video for "face-to-face" interaction between clinicians and patients, wireless communication, and systems that can categorize data.
The reasons for the market growth were general population’s aging, increased healthcare costs, dwindling healthcare resources, advancing technologies, and the proven cost effectiveness of patient monitoring. The report says that sales will be driven in new technologies as older monitoring equipment is replaced by wireless or remote monitors. In terms of vendor market share, the report found fragmentation, with companies such as Abbott, GE Healthcare, Honeywell and Philips competing with newcomers like China's Mindray and specialists like AMD Global Telemedicine or Second Opinion Telehealth.