Berg Insight: 3 million patients worldwide are remotely monitored

Remote patient monitoring

Berg Insight estimates that around 3 million patients worldwide were using connected home medical monitoring devices at the end of 2013. This figure comprises all patients that were remotely monitored by a professional caregiver and doesn’t include patients that use connected medical devices. Until 2018, the research firm predicts that the number of patients using connected home medical monitoring devices will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44.4% to 19.1 million.

The main application is monitoring of patients with implantable cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices, which is used by 2 million patients. Sleep therapy and telehealth are the second and third largest segments with 0.54 million and 0.34 million connections respectively at the end of the year. All other device categories — including ECG, glucose level, medication adherence, blood pressure, air flow, home sleep tests, blood oxygen and coagulation monitoring — stood for less than 0.1 million connections each.

By 2018, CRM will remain the single largest device segment, growing at a CAGR of 15.1% to 4 million connections by 2018.Berg Insight expects that CRM will remain the single largest device segment throughout the forecast period, growing at a CAGR of 15.1% to 4 million connections by 2018. However, the CRM segment will account for just 21% of all connections in 2018, down from 65% in 2013, as the use of connectivity is growing faster in other device segments.

Today, more than 70% of all connected medical devices rely on PSTN or LAN connectivity for transmitting measurement data to caregivers. However, cellular connectivity has become the most common technology in new medical devices and is forecasted to account for 74% of all connections by 2018. A third alternative is that patients use their own mobile devices as health hubs; this model — despite its cost-effectiveness — accounted for less than one percent of all connections in 2013.

Looking into the future, mHealth connectivity platforms such as 2net Mobile from Qualcomm Life and Apple’s HealthKit can allow BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) health hubs to become the favored alternative for several groups of patients such as diabetics and asthmatics.