2016: 3M patients monitored over cellular networks

By Brian Dolan
Share

AliveCor's iPhone ECGBy 2016 the number of patients monitored over mobile networks will hit 3 million, according to Juniper Research. The firm believes that increasing smartphone processing power along with new healthcare peripherals will cause an uptick in more patients using the smartphone as a home health hub. That shift will also lower the cost of remote patient monitoring since it will reduce the need for costly dedicated health devices.

The metric comes from the Juniper report we first mentioned last November, when the research group announced that it estimates about 44 million health apps will downloaded in 2012 and some 142 million health apps will be downloaded in 2016. At the time Juniper Research also stated that hardware peripherals that attach to smartphones will “greatly extend the capabilities” of health apps.

Juniper's downloads prediction is considerably bearish when compared to Pyramid Research's estimate, which we reported on back in 2010. Back then, Pyramid estimated that in 2012 some 600 million health apps would be downloaded.

A report from Berg Insight earlier this month estimated that at the end of 2011, approximately 2.2 million patients globally were using a home-based remote monitoring device. Notably, that metric only accounted for devices that use fixed wireless, embedded cellular, and fixed line connections. Unlike the trend that Juniper pointed to above, Berg did not count devices that connected via smartphones or PCs. However, Berg did not estimate that number of home health monitoring devices in use with embedded cellular connectivity increased from 420,000 in 2010 to about 570,000 in 2011, and is expected to hit 2.47 million in 2016.

For more on the latest from Juniper, read this press release below:

PRESS RELEASE: Hampshire, UK - 2nd February 2012: A burgeoning market for healthcare peripherals and increasing smartphone processing power will result in the number of patients monitored by mobile networks to rise to 3 million by 2016, finds Juniper Research's latest report on the mHealth sector.

Remote patient monitoring, using the smartphone as a hub, will also lower the cost of mHealth services by reducing the need for costly tailored devices.

Cardiac Monitoring Leads the Field

The new Juniper report finds that the monitoring of cardiac outpatients is currently leading the field, as insurance reimbursement in the US market plays a key role. However, in time the management of diabetes and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) and other chronic diseases will play an important role in the remote patient monitoring market.

"Remote patient monitoring will step in to reduce the cost burden of unhealthy lifestyles and aging populations," says report author Anthony Cox. But while remote patient monitoring is already showing both positive medical outcomes and cost savings over outpatient care, more trials would still benefit mHealth in order to further convince the medical establishment of its benefits, finds Juniper Research.

Further findings from the report include:

· Mobile Healthcare and medical App downloads will reach 44 million in 2012, Rising to 142 Million in 2016

· Clarification from the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) on which mHealth apps will require FDA approval is still required but is expected to add further impetus to the market.

· Developing markets continue to benefit from SMS-based education programmes and stand to benefit in medium term from app-based healthcare services such as mobile ultrasound that are now being developed

· EHR (electronic health records) have yet to gain significant traction even in developed markets but in the long term will become an important component of mHealth offerings

A complimentary mHealth whitepaper and further details of the full study can be downloaded from the Juniper Research website.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.