The number of remotely-monitored patients grew by 51 percent to 4.9 million in 2015, according to a recent report from Swedish-based market research firm Berg Insights.
The report was the seventh consecutive one from Berg Insight that gives first-hand insights into the adoption of wireless solutions for health monitoring. The predicted growth of remote patient monitoring (RPM) patients includes all patients enrolled in mobile health (mHealth) care programs in which connected medical devices are used as a part of the care regimen.
Berg Insight estimates that the number of remotely monitored patients will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.9 percent to reach 36.1 million by 2020. According to the report, cellular connectivity has already replaced PSTN (public switched telephone network) and LAN (local area network) as the de-facto standard communication technology for most types of connected home medical monitoring devices and will account for 19.2 million connections in 2020. Using patients’ own mobile devices as health hubs is now becoming a viable alternative for remote patient monitoring as well. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) connectivity will be preferred by select patient groups and will be used for the remote monitoring of 15.2 million patients in 2020, the report predicted.
Regarding remote monitoring solutions, RPM revenues are expected to grow at a CAGR of 32.1 percent between 2015 and 2020 to reach $25 billion at the end of the forecast period. Connected medical devices accounted for 71 percent of total RPM revenues in 2015. This year, revenues for remote patient monitoring solutions reached a little more than $6 billion, the report found.
What’s more, the two biggest market segments under the RPM umbrella are cardiac rhythm management (CRM) and sleep therapy, according to the research. Specifically, CRM has traditionally been the largest market segment, led by companies such as Medtronic, Biotronik, and St Jude Medical that included connectivity in CRM solutions more than a decade ago. However, the sleep therapy segment is growing at the fastest rate and will surpass CRM in 2016, the researchers predicted. The number of remotely -monitored sleep therapy patients grew by 170 percent in 2015, with market growth mainly driven by the vendor ResMed that has made connected healthcare a cornerstone of its strategy.
In conclusion, the report said the adoption of remote patient monitoring solutions is driven by a wide range of incentives, related to everything from demographics and technology development to new advancements in medical treatment. “However, there are a number of barriers, including resistance to change among healthcare organizations and clinicians, misaligned incentive structures and the financing of wireless solutions by what is at large an underfunded healthcare sector. Several catalysts are nevertheless speeding up the rate of adoption—in particular incentives from payers and insurance companies, national health systems that support remote monitoring and a shift to performance-based payment models,” the report said.