As a result of the growing healthcare needs of an aging population, technologies such as remote video monitoring have transpired into a reduction in hospital visits and ensured cost effectiveness within the industry.
Pertaining to various technologies envisaged to manage and monitor a wide array of health related conditions, remote patient monitoring includes the use of devices such as blood-pressure monitors, weight scales and blood-glucose strips among many others. These technologies are useful in the collection and reporting of data and can also be integrated within a healthcare system such as EMR which transmit data to every element in the system and help in alerting clinicians in the event of declining patient health conditions.
Especially beneficial for the elderly who find it difficult to access traditional care settings, these technologies support care coordination and decision support systems for patients. They also incorporate features of remote patient monitoring which can be used by providers such as the Patient Portal.
A report by ‘Kalorama Information’ states that, “Patient monitoring systems with advanced features, especially wireless or remote capability, are among the fastest-growing medical devices. The aging population and the associated increase in diseases such as congestive heart disease and diabetes as well as the cost of treating those conditions, is driving sales of such devices. Use of new patient monitoring technologies can result in a need for fewer personnel, increased coverage by existing personnel, and a reduction in errors and are expected to lead to better patient care and the recognition of serious health problems before they become an issue.”
The report also stated that remote patient monitoring grew to $10.6 billion in 2012 from $8.9 billion in 2011. A future forecast estimates that the value of the market would increase to a staggering $20.9 billion in 2016.
Talking about the growth of the remote patient technology, Melissa Elder, an analyst at ‘Kalorama Information’ said, “We expected growth and that growth was certainly seen between 2011 and 2012. 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.”
According to recent research, sales of remote patient monitoring technologies have increased by 20% in 2013 from the previous year. The United States Healthcare industry can reduce the costs of healthcare by $200 billion in the next 25 years if used with patients suffering from chronic diseases. David Lindeman, Director of the Center for Technology and Aging states, “Remote patient monitoring (RPM) technologies have been shown to be effective in helping to manage chronic disease, post-acute care and monitoring the safety of older adults. These technologies can help slow the progression of chronic disease, speed recovery after discharge from an acute care setting and help vulnerable adults avoid injuries.”
Numerous studies have proven that despite the initial high costs associated with implementation, remote patient monitoring technologies are cost beneficial and have been shown to reduce the amount of hospital visits by at least 26%.
Conclusively, remote patient monitoring technologies are instrumental to the future of the healthcare industry as they will allow providers to keenly engage patients and help them manage their medical conditions with the help of integrated Electronic Health Records and Health Information Exchange. These technologies will be able to monitor patient condition in real-time and improve the overall quality of human life.