The value of the U.S. market for remote patient monitoring more than doubled between 2007 and 2011, and is expected to continue growth through 2016 as efforts to reduce the burden on hospitals and their resources progress, a report by medical market research company, Kalorama, finds.
The report titled Remote & Wireless Patient Monitoring Markets found the fear of hospital overcrowding to be one of the main motivations behind the increased use of remote patient monitoring tools, and the expanded value of the market.
Each year the U.S. sees more than 35 million hospital admissions and emergency room visits from 120 million people. These numbers bring with them a substantial need of hospital resources.
The American Hospital Association has found in a survey though that capacity constraints, especially in the emergency room sector, are being reached. Often if an emergency room is full, patients are sent by ambulance to a nearby hospital in an ER diversion. Hospitals are seeking ways to combat the issue.
“Portable monitoring devices, which increase the ability of the staff to keep track of patients, may reduce some of the need for diversions,” said Melissa Elder, Kalorama Information analyst and author of the report. “Additionally, staff shortages are another cause of diversions which may be addressed with the improved efficiency and workflow gained by using more efficient monitoring devices.”
Current and developing remote patient monitoring devices can be used to provide constant monitoring of patients’ health. Programs have also been developed to enable patient and clinician interaction through real-time audio and video, according to the report. Tools that store patient records on the web and applications that transfer data efficiently and economically between patient, clinician and physician also help in reducing the unnecessary use of hospital resources, according to Kalorama.
Elder cites the large number of aging Americans, increases in health costs and the overuse of healthcare resources as the main reasons for growth in the remote patient monitoring market.
Written by Erin Hegarty