Each year, 120 million people visit hospital emergency rooms and another 35 million are admitted into hospitals. With staff shortages, budget cuts, increased healthcare costs and more patients to treat than ever before, the healthcare industry is facing a crisis. One solution being embraced by healthcare providers is remote patient monitoring, such as cardiac rhythm management and telemedicine. Embracing these new methods of patient care can greatly increase the efficiency of treatment, thus reducing costs. For these reasons, the remote patient monitoring industry is growing rapidly.
Growth of Remote Patient Monitoring
In a 5-year stretch, from 2007 – 2011, the remote patient monitoring industry more than doubled, going from $3.9 billion in 2007 to $8.9 billion in 2011. By 2016—that’s in a year and a half—the industry is expected to grow to $20.9 billion. That is a massive increase in a small amount of time. Because of the rapid growth, more companies are offering monitoring services, and more healthcare providers are taking advantage of them.
Examples of Remote Patient Monitoring

Telehealth: According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), “Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.” The number of health care practices utilizing telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is still small, but the number is rising rapidly. And states are making it easier for patients to gain access. The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) reports that 19 states have passed legislation requiring private health insurance to cover telemedicine. In Massachusetts, legislation was recently passed that includes Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) coverage of telemedicine. Other states are following suit in response to tightened budgets and increased patient load.
Sleep Therapy: Sleep therapy services represented a market of half a million people in 2013, according to a new Berg Insight report. The demand is driven primarily by sleep apnea. Patients can be monitored remotely via the CPAP machines, providing valuable insight to their healthcare providers.
Cardiac Rhythm Management: This service reached 2 million people in 2013, and the number is expected to double to 4 million patients within the next 4 years, Berg Insight reports.

Acceptance of Remote Patient Monitoring
With millions of people owning cellular devices connected to the internet, every industry is learning to tailor products and experiences to their customers, and healthcare should do the same. In fact, consumers are starting to expect it.  According to a new survey from Intel, “people believe that technology holds the best promise for curing fatal diseases.” The survey also found that of the 12,000 people studied, 72% were open to virtual doctor’s visits for minor illnesses and remote monitoring via sensors in or on their body. “This survey indicates a very high willingness of people to become part of the solution to the world’s healthcare problems with the aid of all sorts of technologies,” states Eric Dishman, Intel fellow and general manager of the company’s Health and Life Sciences Group.
This change to embrace telemedicine and remote monitoring isn’t just increasing in the United States. The Intel study included people from Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy and Japan. Dishman goes on to say,”Most people appear to embrace a future of healthcare that allows them to get care outside hospital walls, lets them anonymously share their information for better outcomes, and personalizes care all the way down to an individual’s specific genetic makeup.”Receive the IntelliCentrics Blog in your inbox every time we publish a new blog post.  Click here to subscribe to our blog today! 

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