Global revenue for home healthcare devices and services will rise to $12.6 billion in 2018, up from $5.7 billion in 2013, according to a report from IHS Technology.
IHS divided the home health market into six segments: independent living services, consumer medical devices, telehealth, personal emergency response systems (PERS), wearable technologies, and health gaming.
“Healthcare providers are focusing on patient centered care to increase the quality of medical treatment,” Roeen Roashan, medical devices and digital health analyst at IHS said in a statement. “By doing this, medical firms hope to attain lower healthcare expenditures during the lifetime of patients. Home health technologies will play an important role in the continuum of care and in the concept of constantly managing patients’ health.”
IHS also added that many home health devices are converging. The research firm points out that some devices, like mPERS devices, are already integrating different features so that consumers get multiple uses out of the same product. Some integrations for a device could be telehealth capabilities, activity monitoring, or integrated heart rate sensors.
AOL cofounder Steve Case also brought attention to this trend in December 2013. In a talk, Case pointed out that a number of digital health companies today are actually not true companies at all — they are “features”. He noted that this is typical for an emerging market, but the eventual winners will grow their startup quickly from developing features to real products to platforms. This “inevitable” evolution will be coming to digital health in the next five to 10 years, he said. He likened this situation to the early days of the PC when there were entire companies focused on developing printer driver software or word processors, but none of those companies are around today.
The other prominent trend that will come out of increased use of home health technologies is a growing amount of patient-generated data, which MobiHealthNews explored in a recent in-depth report.
In July 2013, a report from IHS predicted that downloads for sports and fitness apps would grow to 248 million in 2017 up from 156 million in 2012, a 60 percent rise.