The Medical Technology Blog

Rising rates of chronic disease are pushing healthcare providers into seeking better and more-cost-effective ways of delivering care. Telemonitoring technology has great promise but has yet to be widely implemented, and the early results reveal significant operational obstacles which must be overcome in the medium term if it is to reach its full commercial potential.

The Global Telemonitoring Market graph

The Global Telemonitoring Market, 2010-2016E (US$ million)

According to a new Espicom report, Telemonitoring: Challenges & Opportunities, the global telemonitoring market could be set for rapid growth, driven by the world’s ageing population and increasingly unhealthy lifestyles, which are leading more and more people to need care for chronic diseases.

Interest in telemonitoring is on the rise due to its potential to improve the health of patients with chronic diseases, enable people to receive care in the comfort of their own home and reduce the number of patients that have to been seen in doctors’ surgeries. With the World Health Organization estimating that chronic diseases now account for twice as many deaths as communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, and predicting that deaths due to chronic disease will increase by 17% over the next 10 years, the need to effectively manage these conditions has never been more pressing. The global economic downturn and reduced healthcare budgets are also leading healthcare managers to look to telemonitoring as a way of “doing more for less”.

Although telemonitoring holds much promise, there are several issues that are hindering its adoption. The technology has not been shown conclusively to improve care or reduce costs and it doesn’t yet have broad reimbursement coverage. More importantly, it requires healthcare providers to change working practices and realign healthcare budgets, while patients have to want to be actively involved in their healthcare for it to work.

Telemonitoring lets doctors monitor a patient’s health while the patient is at home, collecting vital signs data and information on current symptoms, medication, diet and exercise. It alerts healthcare providers if a patient’s health is deteriorating so that action can be taken. The technology can be used for any disease where doctors need to keep a regular check on patients, including heart failure, hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases, as well as patients with a combination of diseases.

Joanne Maddox, senior health analyst at Espicom and the report’s author comments “…for the industry to capitalise on the growing interest in telemonitoring, there needs to be a focus on gathering clinical data that show the technology is both clinically and cost-effective. This will help to convince healthcare providers of its usefulness and pave the way for reimbursement”.

For further information on the report please visit Telemonitoring: Challenges & Opportunities

Espicom Business Intelligence

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