Revenues for remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions reached $5.8 billion in 2013, including revenues from medical monitoring devices, mobile health (mHealth) connectivity solutions, care delivery software platforms and monitoring services, according to a report from IT research firm Berg Insight.
In addition, the telehealth market has benefitted from local and regional project financing in several European countries, whereas remotely monitored medication dispensers gained traction among home care providers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (the Benelux region) and Nordic countries in particular.
"The growth in the remote patient monitoring market is today centered on very specific market verticals and regions," Lars Kurkinen, a senior analyst with Berg Insight, said in a statement. "Most of the market growth in the sleep therapy segment has, for instance, occurred in the U.S. and France, where frequent compliance audits are becoming more common."
Overall, RPM revenues are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35 percent between 2013 and 2018, reaching $26.5 billion at the end of the forecast period.
Savings attributable to payers and care providers are expected to far exceed this amount as connected care solutions can allow better health outcomes to be achieved more cost efficiently.
Cost-effective delivery of quality care is another development highlighted in the report, which singled a trend in the U.S. where a large number of requests for proposals (RFPs) for telehealth solutions are being issued due to the hospital readmission reduction programs.
As an added benefit to consumers, the new care models enabled by RPM technologies are often consistent with patients’ preferences of living more healthy, active and independent lives, the report noted.
The report also cautioned that although the health care industry is advancing towards an age where connected care solutions will be part of standard practices, this progress is still far from uniform.
However, some progress is evidenced by the emergence of the first pharmaceutical companies to have initiated rollouts of connected adherence monitoring solutions that are bundled together with specific drugs.
"Another high-level development that will have a major impact on the use of connected care solutions in several countries during the coming years is the shift from fee-for-service reimbursement systems to pay-for-performance structures that emphasize cost-effective delivery of quality care," Kurkinen said.
Another recent report from Berg Insight found around 3 million patients worldwide were using connected home medical monitoring devices at the end of 2013.
The overall figure of 3 million comprises all patients that were remotely monitored by a professional caregiver, however, patients that use connected medical devices for personal health tracking are not included in that figure.